We’re all social creatures. Social animals. So much so that you could say our very survival depends on our ability to interact well with others. As an infant we needed to be able to communicate to our parents, through crying, when there was something bothering us and needed some alleviation. Even later in life, if a person senses a serious ailment in themselves but is unable to communicate this to a professional, then this could lead to some serious complications later on.
We rely on our social interactions with family and close friends to give us a sense of belonging, which is very important for our mental health and self-worth. Networking often plays an integral role in opening doors for career opportunities. You often hear the term “self-made man" or "self-made millionaire” thrown around, or perhaps you came across an entrepreneur proudly proclaiming that their success was due solely to their hard work alone. But anyone who proclaims this is, quite frankly, deluding themselves. This is because no one got to where they are today by living in a complete vacuum. It’s true that their hard work may have been the main contributing factor for their eventual success, and that is to be fully commended. But who instilled in them that work ethic? Who approved them for that bank loan or grant? Who provided this person with encouragement and sense of belonging during the tough times, which in turn laid down the secure foundation for them to work harder and longer? Who inspired this person to become a successful entrepreneur in the first place? Yes, this person still needed to work damn hard to become a success. But it also shouldn’t be denied that this person enjoyed some good fortune along the way too in the guise of having others around them that provided the right cocktail to help this person realise their goal.
What all this essentially illustrates is that your fate in life is tied in with the people you choose to associate with. You’re generally either associating with people of good quality and good character, or with people of negative quality and character. The people you are investing your time with will most likely be the difference between you being happy or unhappy in life. Not to mention the difference between enjoying great successes or enduring painful failures in life. So become aware of the people you are associating with, and be selective too. That’s the message I want to get across with this article: Never underestimate the importance and power of your social relations.