3 Reasons Relationships Matter in the Pursuit of Happiness

friends

The concepts presented here are not inherently right or wrong nor good or bad. They are simply reflection on experiences I’ve had which offered positive results.

I’ve been working in the corporate world for about 15 years. Currently, I’m Director of Client Solutions at WebMD, a great company which I’ve now been part of for 8 years. Outside of corporate life, I was co-owner of a successful record label (music producer and DJ) but moved on a couple years ago to pursue other things. I’ve played with some of the top artists in the world. I’m founder of my new passion, The Blue Dot Post and I’m in involved with a new startup that I hope will take off soon! I’m writing this because I believe in collaboration and strength in numbers. Personal failures may teach you what not to do but the best way to learn is from successes, things that worked. Information is essential to human growth and the more we share with each other the stronger we grow as a whole. I’m hoping to save you time and help anyone that finds value in it to grow and progress in their pursuit for happiness. Nothing presented here was strategically planned, I’m looking back in hindsight at what worked so we can all learn from it.

What is the pursuit of happiness? Well, it may come in all shapes and sizes but in my mind it’s about creating a life you love. A life that you are excited to wake up for every morning. Have you ever been on vacation and realized that you might wake up everyday at 6:00am without an alarm clock? Life can be very hard when things don’t go your way and I have learned how being open to developing good relationships can relieve that pressure a bit and help shift the tides your way. We are social creatures and it’s in our nature to want to help others.

Current events have shaped new behavior which includes a boom in social entrepreneurship. An effort to lead the charge and develop solutions that not only support one financially but more importantly create what is known as social capital – value for our global well-being. More people today are facing a transformational time in their lives. If you’re reading this, then maybe it’s you right now. This is especially true for the younger generation who have grown up surrounded by technology and already lived through a depression and endless war. Hard times can contribute to a shift in thinking and today people are thinking about finding happiness through fulfillment, purpose and how they can help make the world a better place. Nobody wants to leave the world in shambles for their kids. According to survey information, generation Y would be more inclined to take a $40k per year salary to do something they find fulfillment in over a $100k per year salary doing boring work.

The Blue Dot Post is about exactly that – inspiring change that enhances all human life and protects our environment. Making the changes we need starts with a shift in thinking in each one of us personally first. So, sharing information to build awareness and inspire people to be “changemakers” is invaluable. The human mind is our biggest untapped resource and we will do anything we can to help give people information to grow.

As people pursue these new passions to build a life they love they realize there is no formula or how to guide to tell them how to make money and change the world. Schools only teach you to make a living, not to create a life. Personally, I have dealt with that very challenge head on for years and have taken social-entrepreneur classes, read books, watched talks from experts, and researched the internet. There is no linear path like becoming a lawyer or accountant. It’s a non-linear path that goes all over the place. Yes, you will be uncomfortable and likely will fall on your face a few times. It’s a new way of thinking and behaving, especially with the internet in play now. One thing I read which has always stuck with me is “If you are comfortable, you are not growing”. Many people will say they want a life of adventure and excitement but then also ask for security and stability. I’m not sure you can have it both ways so that really just puts up a wall. It’s not an easy thing to overcome, we have been taught very differently.

Why relationships matter:

For starters, I’ve learned that relationships are important in all aspects of life. There are many reasons why relationships matter but I speak to 3 which are applicable to anyone. I understand some people may be introverts and if you’re an entrepreneur you might have that tendency to try and manage things behind the computer if possible. Let’s face it, it’s easier when you don’t have to put yourself “out there”. Can you develop a relationship online, yes. However, I will confidently say, there is no better way to build good relationships than in person. It’s a very different experience. So, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. For example, it’s like the boy who’s afraid to ask the girl to dance because he doesn’t want to face potential rejection. We can guarantee one thing in that situation. By not asking the girl to dance, the boy 100% guarantees he will not dance with that girl and rather than feel pain from rejection he will likely feel pain of regret later. That was never me of course (wink).

Speak up and engage people. Get out to events that help you meet people you want to talk to. Help others in need. Take someone out to lunch or coffee. Life is just better when you have a network of reliable support but it not just about receiving, its also about giving. You have to be willing to do both. Building a team or network of people is defined in the social entrepreneur industry as “building your tribe“. Again, no matter what the circumstance in life it’s always better to have a strong network of people you can rely on.

Below are 3 key take aways I’ve learned after looking back on my personal experience. Many people may feel this is common knowledge but it’s amazing how many people don’t take action.

  1. Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are
  2. This is a tricky one and could get me some criticism but it’s worth discussing so hear it out. We don’t want to judge people but who you surround yourself makes a difference, a big one. I have learned this first hand over and over. It is said that if you calculate the average of your closest 5 or 10 friends total income it will reflect your income. Think about that for a minute. How is this possible? People are all energy and that energy is shared. Why do people like Tony Robbins study successful people and learn from their success? They are studying how they think. The environment around you triggers thoughts and those thoughts trigger action or lack of. What you think matters tremendously. Energy is very contagious between people. So, if you surround yourself with people that see opportunity in everything and are progressing in life then that will rub off on you as well. They got those good vibrations! If you ever played sports you might have noticed you perform better when you hang out with the best guys on the team. If you hang out with the people that complain and really don’t perform well, you will be dragged down with them. This applies in anything you do. I have experienced it first hand many times. At the end of the day, the people around you are the people who are influencing you. They are putting ideas—good or bad—into your head. They are the people you’re learning from and getting better with. So get amazing people around you each day!

  3. Friends will do favors for friends and go the extra mile to help you
  4. Who are you more inclined to help out, someone you know in passing as an acquaintance or someone that you have connected with as a friend? This does not mean you should strategically become friends with someone to take advantage. However, when you are friendly and listen to people and maybe put a little effort out to develop a relationship a bit more than usual, you have a stronger support system. Have you ever gotten a discount because you know someone, or maybe you got a job or even a promotion at work because your boss was a friend who was more willing to push for you to succeed? As the saying goes, “it’s who you know, not what you know”. Build a strong support system, help others and they will help you.

  5. Speak up and the Universe Just Might Respond (law of attraction?)
  6. If you have a vision for your life you should write it down, talk about it, make a vision board. Whatever you can do to bring what’s in your mind into the physical realm and begin sculpting it. Without a vision you are playing darts with out a dart board. You are a fart in the wind! Be willing to talk to people about that vision and tell them what your dreams are and what you love. After all, if it’s your passion it should be top of mind and all you want to talk about anyway. I usually talk to everyone about what I’m thinking and I pick their brains. A few years ago, I was looking for insights and advice from another entrepreneur and as always picked that persons brain and told them my thoughts. Years later, I got a call from that person who offered me partnership in a great new opportunity. He said, base on our discussions he knew it aligned with me and that I would be a good fit. What if I never opened my mouth?

Research has shown that being more extroverted in daily behavior can lead to more positive moods. So step out of your comfort zone, talk to people, listen to people, help people, and build your tribe!

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