Have you ever experienced a situation where it seems like God or the universe is trying to convey a specific message to you? Do you know that feeling when you keep encountering the same recurring theme or message everywhere you look? Don’t disregard it; it’s meant for you and the people around you. Embrace that lesson and share it. Don’t ignore it!
That’s exactly how I felt this morning. Over the past three days, or I dare say three weeks, a consistent message has been trying to resonate with me, and I believe it’s time to share it. I take this seriously, and I encourage you to do the same. If you grasp this message correctly, it can make a tremendous difference in your life, just as it has in mine.
What do you typically do when you have a significant goal that requires time and attention? Let’s say you want to achieve a first-class degree in school, ace a particular exam, or work hard to win a trophy in a sport. What is the first instinctive thing people tend to do? The first instinctive response is to allocate time from other activities and concentrate solely on this new project, right? This seemingly innocent and natural approach, however, can be dangerous.
When you accomplish what you set out to achieve—the award, the accolade, the prize, or the dream—you’ll undoubtedly feel super excited. Butterflies will flutter in your stomach, your adrenaline will surge, and you’ll experience a high. But that high won’t last. The initial excitement of achievement typically fades over time, as it is a natural part of the human emotional experience. The duration of these highs may vary based on several factors. Interestingly, it is not these highs that determine overall life happiness; rather, it’s the things we sacrifice to achieve them.
An intriguing longitudinal study conducted by Harvard in 1938, spanning over 80 years and involving more than 720 people, revealed that the top two factors influencing our happiness are the quality of our relationships and our sense of belonging to communities. Wow!
Let’s delve deeper into these two factors:
- Quality Relationships: The study consistently highlights the importance of strong and supportive relationships in contributing to overall happiness. Positive relationships with family, friends, and partners have been found to be significant predictors of well-being throughout life.
- Social Connections: The study emphasizes the importance of social connections beyond immediate relationships. Being part of a community, engaging in social activities, and having a robust social network have been linked to higher levels of happiness.
What should our response be to this?
No matter what you aspire to achieve, don’t compromise your quality relationships, and don’t jeopardize your social connections. These aspects will last much longer and contribute to your happiness even in the face of accomplishments.
I hope this insight proves valuable to you.