I on Saturday night went to a “spring fling” party, complete with tiki torches, a tiki-head ice luge (see the photo to the left for an example of one), and a whole roasted pig. It was a lot of fun.
My wife has been out of town for a college reunion, and so, I went stag. Sometimes, I feel a bit shy before going alone to a big party. It was tempting to stay home with the children and binge-stream The Sopranos. But, I resolved to go, and I’m so glad that I did.
The best part of the evening for me was sitting down to dinner with some close friends. We talked about our children, how we are aging quickly, and our must-be-improved dance moves. There were also many jokes.
As I sat there, I started to realize how important these friendships are to me. I feel like myself with these friends. There was a lot of joy there. And, authenticity.
At the end of the evening, some of us walked as a group to our cars. I then realized something really important: I really and truly love my dinner friends.
There’s a famous study of Harvard undergraduates that spanned 75 years. It looked at what drives happiness and fulfillment (more here). A key part? Social connectedness. Friends and family.
As I’ve blogged previously here, I’m a big believer in “hacking your brain.” Our brains are wired in a certain way. It’s important to know which neural pathways create fulfillment.
So, the next time you’re tempted to bail on a party, don’t. Just go. I’m glad I did.