Updated: Jul 20, 2018
Even in a city with millions of people, one can feel as if they are the only person in the world. The isolation from the lack of eye contact with another person can keep you trapped in your own mind.
But that is not how we are called to live.
For Christians, we are called to live in koinonia, or spiritual community. God calls us to live within the church and participate with our neighbors is a direct call to live in community with one another.
You could retreat to isolation, but you will ultimately be more satisfied living and serving amongst your neighbors. This is innate to our human nature.
In our modern world, it’s easy to fall into the belief that we can do this all on our own. But the truth is that you are not an island, and you can accomplish more with community.
Relationships encourage, challenge, and propel us forward in our personal and professional lives. Leaning on a trusted friend when your burden feels too heavy, or knowing that your family will support you when the world seems to have turned against you-- that’s the sense of belonging in which we all crave.
Some people are drained by large crowds, and some people are rejuvenated by them. The size of each person’s preference in community will vary, but nobody is called to live their life as an island.
But choose wisely. You are only as strong as your five closest friends. Choose those individuals who will uplift, support, challenge, inspire, and motivate you to become better than you were yesterday. Ensure that they have the conviction to hold you accountable to your aspirations in the moments when you feel too weak to do so yourself.
Find a mentor who inspires you. Learning from them will shave years off of your learning curve by working closely with a trusted mentor who will steer you into the right decisions and avoid the same mistakes they made.
Mark Batterson, an innovative leader and communicator, suggests having mentors because we all have blind spots and need to give people permission to speak the truth in love. Wise advisors will not shy away from the truth we need to hear in critical moments.
Then, use your knowledge to uplift the generation beneath you. John C. Maxwell says:
“Everyone is a leader, because everyone influences someone…. The bottom line in leadership isn't how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others. That is achieved by serving others and adding value to their lives.”
True happiness in our work is directly related to your ability to be influenced by and to influence others. It is the ability to work together and cultivate change and progress within our community.
Here are some apps to help you find community:
In Work - Shapr. It’s like Bumble for your LinkedIn. Easily network with professionals in your community and have a phone call, cup of coffee, or interview all around the country.
In Fitness - Nike Running Club. Join runners from across your city and train with a Nike running coach. Runs are free, and different pace levels are available.
In Church - Church Finder. Find a local church near you. Sign up to volunteer to meet locals in the congregation while serving those in need within you community.
In the words of Jackie Robinson, “A life isn’t significant except for its impact on other lives.” Consider whose lives in your community you could have a significant impact upon.
What are your favorite ways to get involved and build community in your town?
Be sure to register for our Virtual Book Launch on Tuesday, June 12 at 8:00 PM EST. Viewers will be offered an exclusive special at the end of the webinar. Register on our site, www.thehappinessmapbook.com.