I was in a meeting with a group of leaders the other day and after being prompted by a question most of them said that they had many acquaintances but very few friends. It was clear they weren’t particularly happy by this fact, but felt their busy life didn’t leave them much of a choice. I find it paradoxical that in a day and age where we have so many more ways to stay connected with other people, every study I read says that people feel lonelier and more disconnected than ever before. This is especially troubling for people in leadership positions because they feel naturally isolated to begin with.
Take stock of the people you are spending the most time with personally and professionally and make a conscious choice to maximize the time spent with the brightest, happiest and most capable people you know.
It’s easy to get comfortable with who we are and what we know. Building new relationships can seem like hard work in an already busy life. However, people can be a bridge to your future happiness. They can help you see the world in new and different ways. They can offer you a perspective of who you are that is unfiltered by past experience.
Sometimes it’s hard to switch back into work mode once you’ve had several days off (especially this time of year). However, being successful means being able to turn it on and off as needed.
I’ve yet to meet a truly successful person who has done so without a supportive family and/or circle of friends. Sure success can be one dimensional and only about money or fame, but most of these people end up lonely and unhappy in other areas of their life (so I wouldn’t call their experience a true success).