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Celebrating Independence – Together…

Relationships are at the center of all we do as people, both in business and personally. As we head into the longer weekend for many, we thought it would be appropriate to do some reflecting and possibly reconnecting.

In his new book, Together, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, MD asserts that the great challenge facing us today is how to build a people-centered life and a people-centered world. He suggests that creating a connected life begins with the decisions we make every day. Do we choose to make time for people? Do we show up as our true selves? Do we seek out others with kindness, recognizing the power of service to bring us together?

Dr. Murthy offers four powerful and simple suggestions to keep in mind:

1. Spend time each day with those you love. Devote at least 15 minutes a day to connecting with those you most care for. It’s a short time, but it will go a long way to helping you feel more rooted in relationships. 2. Focus on the quality of your time with others. When you’re talking to others, let go of multitasking, and give the person the gift of your full attention. Five minutes of conversation when you are fully present and listening deeply can often be more fulfilling than 30 minutes of distracted conversation. 3. Embrace solitude. The first step toward building stronger connections with others is to build a stronger connection with oneself. Meditation, prayer, art, music and time spent outdoors can all be sources of solitary comfort and joy. 4. Help and be helped. Service is one of the most powerful antidotes to loneliness. It is a form of human connection that reminds us of our value and purpose in life. Checking on a neighbor, seeking advice, even just offering a smile to a stranger six feet away — all can make us stronger.

Building a more connected life isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright scary. It requires vulnerability, compassion, empathy and a willingness to listen. In the spirit of vulnerability, after reading Dr. Murthy’s book, here is what I intend to do. Maybe it will resonate with you, or maybe you’ll come up with your own intentions and be willing to share.

• Replace conflict with compassion • Replace argument with acceptance • Replace proving your point, to proving their worth • Listen to people for the purpose of understanding their viewpoint, not changing it.

If we treat kindness and compassion as sacred values and add respect and responsibility, think of the change we could see in the world today.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB