So much emphasis these days on “personal responsibility.” Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Not relying on the government, or anyone else, for your success. But studies consistently show what an enormous impact the people in our lives have (if one friend divorces, you’re at increased risk; if your friends are overweight, you probably will be too). So why, then, are we so focused on personal responsibility when in fact we should be overly concerned about the group, the general public, the people we choose to surround ourselves with. It’s undeniable–we are all inextricably connected.
It follows that the most important decisions are about who you choose to spend your precious time with. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said choosing a spouse is the most important business decision you will make. I personally believe that is true, but it is only one small part of the story. Your social circle at every stage of your life impacts your activities, your self-esteem, your desires, your romantic preferences, your professional aspirations, the list goes on and on.
Who you work with in your first job will have a ripple effect throughout your professional life. Your first boyfriend/girlfriend will color the way you see relationships forever. Does this sound a little unsettling to you? It does to me too. Or, at least, it did, until I finally found my habitat…more recently I’ve been referring to it as my happy-tat. My friends, romantic partner, co-workers and even my neighborhood makes me feel safe, supported, happy and confident. With a profound impact. I had to make some really difficult choices to get to this point, some of which I’ll share in future posts…anyone have a similar experience?