We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on our long-term moods. The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life: a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community. – Paul Bloom
So far in our series we’ve discussed the importance of creating and being your authentic, intentional self, and taking time to enjoy your family. Now we come to the last segment: Community
As an introvert I know that the idea of community building can be overwhelming, even paralyzing. Let me assure you that a community doesn’t have to be big. Your community can be as big or small as you choose.
Why is community important?
Well, quite simply, because we can’t do it all. We are not, nor should we expect ourselves to be, supermoms. Having people around us to help, share in our triumphs, and console us in our darkest hour is part of the beauty of the human experience.
Not just an expression.
The more the merrier is something we’ve probably all said at one time or another, but most of us don’t stop to think about what it really means.
More people means more joy. More people means more fun. More people means more love.
And yes, sometimes more people means more drama or conflict, but choosing your people wisely can minimize that. Build your community with people who bring out the best in you, those who see the best in you.
Building your community.
Invite people over. Have a family movie night or barbecue and invite another family. Sometimes having people on your own turf can make branching out more comfortable.
Say yes. When people invite you over (or out), say yes. Take people up on their generosity – that’s what makes a community.
Venture out. Check out events in your town. Go to an exercise class. Explore your interests and you’ll find people who share them. That common bond will help you build your community.
Choose your people wisely.
Have you ever played the deserted island game? You know the one where you’re hypothetically trapped on a deserted island and you can choose any 3 people to be trapped with you? Of course the obvious answer is Bear Grylls, but that’s not really the point.
Who would you invite to your deserted island? Your spouse? Children? Neighbors? Cousins? Coworkers? The waitress from your favorite diner? Those people would be your community. Choose wisely.
Assignment: Populate your deserted island. If you had to pick 10 people to be deserted with, who would they be?
Next week: Reaching Out