June 13, 2012
There was something I wrote in last month’s newsletter that had me thinking more about community and connection in these last few weeks. Like many Type-A personalities, I am a person dedicated to uncovering meaning, both professionally and personally. So when I started to uncover what “purposefully growing community around me” really meant, I realized how much was already there that I needed to reconnect with.
I’ll get to the point: most of January through May has been spent feeling particularly lost personally because I have been unable – for work related reasons – to continue to cultivate my relationships in the community that matters most in my life, be that my group of friends, or my religious community, or simply my own family. What I have discovered over the last little while, however, is how much of a disservice could be done over the longer term to my client base.
Recently, I listened to a pretty insightful woman entrepreneur speak on consciously creating your business for more freedom. She made the point right at the beginning of the presentation that if your clients could work with your need for time off monthly or bi-monthly that they’d have their service provider in business for longer. The alternative of having that trusted business close prematurely due to burnout would actually impact their lives more.
She continued by encouraging her audience to carve out one night a week for time with friends, or dedicated time to call those who matter most to them with whom they have lost connection, or to take nights and long weekends away with their families or spouses. I interpret these choices as being about time management and prioritization of what matters to us. But more importantly, I think they are about grounding ourselves in the lives and opinions of those who we love and who matter most to us, and finding stability through good times and bad in those upon whom we can count. The importance of cultivating our community relationships cannot be underestimated in terms of life satisfaction and success. I was brought to a clearer place when I came to terms with how badly I needed to get this in place in my own life.
So now I’m encouraging you to make time to spend with those who matter most to you and those whose opinions you value. Engage with them on a deep level. Enjoy that company. And most of all, be willing to listen and to hear what is shared. Through connection and community, the path of our lives can become not only more rewarding and fulfilling, but also more clear. Our individual success, in other words, is dependent not just on our own abilities, but also on our willingness to accept the support of those around us. This week, observe your life as it intersects with those you love, accept the profound value that your community and your connection to it offers, and grow from it.
In the spirit of this post, Mark & I finally nailed down our vacation dates. We’ll be heading out of town August 2-5. I promise it will be fantastically relaxed, work-free, and wonderful.