That’s my attempt at a group selfie. As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly bombarded with the advice that in order to increase my business I need to be on all the social media platforms: facebook, instagram, twitter, plus others that I don’t even know the names of. But with social media, I always feel like I’m swimming upstream as others in my industry are posting multiple times a day or as I observe the other-worldly nimbleness of my children’s dual thumbs (not one index finger) tapping out streams of words below perfectly framed and in-focus pictures.
So last Saturday, as my husband and mom and I trekked to Battle Creek, MI to see our daughter’s college choir concert, while at lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, I actually remembered to take a picture. But as the photo indicates, I’m not very good at selfies. Drat! Another missed social media opportunity!
I was feeling deflated and ready to hit delete when I stumbled upon an article about a 75-year-long Harvard study which found the one secret to leading a fulfilling life—and it didn’t have anything to do with social media. What is that secret? According to the study, one thing surpasses all the rest in terms of importance: “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period. Not how much is in your 401k. Now how many conferences you spoke at—or keynoted. Not how many blog posts you wrote or how many followers you had or how much power you wielded.”
The gist of the study is that it’s not how many friends you have or whether or not you’re even in a committed relationship. What truly matters in terms of being happy is the quality of those relationships. When it’s all over, you could have the most successful career you ever wanted, but without loving relationships, you won’t be happy.
I began to breathe a sigh of relief. I may never hit my social media quota of posts and likes and followers, but what you can’t see beyond the slightly out of focus goofy smile, closed eyes, and partial faces is two of the greatest people I have ever known, two people with whom I have collected a lifetime of stories, and two people whom I’m honored to call husband and mother. I think I’ll keep that selfie after all.