“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships”
I have a quote book where I write down quotes that really resonate with me…and this particular quote is one of the ones in that book I connect with the most and really take to heart. I truly believe this to be true. At the end of someone’s life, you never hear someone say, “Oh! I wish I worked more!” No! When faced with the prospect of death, people regret things like, “I wish I chased that dream I never had the courage to pursue,” or “I wish I spent more time with my kids and made more memories with them,” or “I wish I kept better in touch with my friends!”
For the large majority, people’s regrets in life, when faced with the prospect of death, are all related to their personal life and their interpersonal relationships. This is also why you will see the major complaint of unhappy or depressed people is that they’re lonely. Loneliness, isolation, and not feeling connected to other people is a major source of human unhappiness.
When I was a teenager, and into the first half of my twenties, I was insanely social and a big connector of people. I had tons of friends and had so many connections with people. But the problem is that I had absolutely zero focus in my life from a career sense. I had no idea what my purpose or calling was.
Then, in my mid-twenties, I discovered my passion and true calling—writing. From there, I invested everything into this calling and direction. To the point that I began to isolate myself from friends and stopped putting the effort into maintaining strong interpersonal relationships.
While I’d found purpose and satisfaction with this new dream and passion, something that had been missing, I’d done so at the expense of investing time and energy into my personal relationships. Without those strong connections on a regular basis, I became really unhappy and depressed.
This is when I realized that success, while important, means absolutely jack shit if you don’t have an amazing community of people around you to help you get there. It means nothing if you don’t have so much love in your life filling you up on a daily basis. While success is nice, it’s a pleasure, an aesthetic, and luxury in life. It’s not essential. When we make it essential, our souls get into trouble.
It was through this unhappiness that I learned that we must never rely on success and make it essential to our lives. We must strive for success but not need it at the same time. When we can cultivate a life for ourselves where we strive for success but not ultimately need it to be fulfilled and happy, we have a winning formula for happiness.
Success will come and go, as so much of it is out of our control. But ultimately, we determine the fate of our happiness by the quality of our personal relationships.
No matter how much success you find, or how great your life suddenly becomes, none of it will matter if you don’t have an amazing community of people around you. The quiet, seemingly insignificant moments with those you love the most, will, in fact, be the most significant moments of your life.
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