In his book The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor talks about a study called “Very Happy People” that looked into what the top ten per cent of happy people had in common.

It wasn’t wealth, race, weight, education, gender, fitness or income.  

It was social connections.  By a huge margin.  Being connected makes us happy.  And the happier we are the more likely we are to be successful and healthy.  It is also what helps us survive challenges, heal our hearts, minds and bodies, and believe in ourselves.

These connections are our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. Parents we meet at our childrens’ schools and clubs.  The people who make our coffee or eggs.  The people who make our day.

Doctor and researcher Dean Ornish once said, “The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.”

We need it to survive and thrive.

So continue to build those connections and cherish them.  In parking lots and grocery stores.  Around the table at holiday dinners.  On family commutes to school and activities.  In the boardroom and at the baseball diamond.  Drink them in and remember that they are the fuel for your journey.  They are empowering you to feel comfortable in your own skin.  To find your gift.  To be happy.