How to Live to be 100 #Relationships
In a recent Ted talk, research by Julianne Holt-Lunstad at Brigham Young University was highlighted. This research looks at the variables that have the greatest impact on longevity. In your mind, try to guess what variables had the strongest correlation with living longer. I guessed that too and I was wrong. The number 2 predictor is “close relationships”, that is having at least one person in your life that you can count on when life gets difficult. The number 1 predictors is “social integration”, which means the close and not-so-close relationships with people in your life.
Joe’s Perspective: How many of you know the name of your UPS delivery person or the name of your mail person? Do you know the name of the secretary at your school or the cashier at the local grocery store or the waitress at your favorite restaurant? Can you tell me one interesting fact about their lives or know anything about their families? When is the last time that you introduced yourself or had a genuine conversation with a relative stranger at the post office or the cafeteria? If you are thinking, why would I, that is a direct reflection of your character. If you don’t think you need to be bothered by such small details, this says a lot about your general attitude, which will probably follow you throughout your life. And, if you don’t care about the day-to-day people in your life, you will probably not be “socially integrated”, which is the number 1 predictor of longevity. Fascinating, huh?
I think this study shows us is that it all comes back to relationships. In this era where we are consumed by screens and data, it is very important that we take the time to invest in relationships. We need to invest in family and friendships. We also need to make small investments in the everyday people that we encounter. I believe that if you can make the day of the person who sells you a fountain drink (call them by name, smile and genuinely thank them for their time), that energy will be returned to you ten-fold. I believe this study shows that the more you give, the more you receive.
Your Turn: As a general rule, how can you make a more concerted effort to positive impact the day-to-day people you encounter in your life?