August 26, 2019
I missed the entire Springsteen concert!
July 12, 1984. I am sitting on the grass at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin with my best friend Eric and his younger sister Juli. We are there, wait for it, at the “Born in the USA” tour to see Bruce Springsteen. Yeah, THAT tour! I was thinking about this concert recently with the release of the Boss’ broadway show. Sad thing is - I can’t remember anything about the concert - not the haunting harmonica, blistering guitar solos, poetic words, or even the “Big Man’s solos.” So here’s the deal. Eric was my best friend since fifth grade, but at the concert I found his sister suddenly much more interesting to talk to. What I do remember about the concert is sitting next to Juli, trying to make interesting conversation, and faux listening to the concert so as not to catch Eric’s ire. Well, the concert ended. Juli and I began dating. Eric gave me the silent treatment for months, and life went on. It all turned out well. Juli and I got married a few years later. Eric and I are friends again.
Have you ever had the quandary of deciding whether to focus on people as opposed to things, events, activities, or even processes or procedures? Seems like our workday is always asking us to make that decision. In a study that is remarkable because of its findings and duration - beginning in 1938 Harvard researchers began following the lives of 268 Harvard sophomores. 19 of the original participants are still alive. Over the years the study has grown to include their offspring. The individuals studied lived in both humble and affluent conditions. It is a treasure trove of information as we can learn so much from those that came before us. Perhaps it isn’t a surprise but the study has resoundingly shown that:
“Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed. Those ties protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes. That finding proved true across the board among both the Harvard men and the inner-city participants.”
So, in our workday when given the choice of interacting and helping others or focusing on processes and procedures, the winning ticket will always be being people focused. You can check out all of the great insights in the Harvard study. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-a-healthy-and-happy-life/
From your friends at BestDayHR
P.S. - Our Culture Stories are personal first-hand experiences graciously provided by members of our team, as well as other thoughts that inspire us, information that makes us think, and insights we have learned over time.