Invest In Relationships – They Pay the Highest Dividends

by Sophia Bera on July 31, 2013

Often times when we think about investing, we thing about investing in assets, like stocks or bonds, but today I want you to think about investing in your relationships.  This weekend, I had the opportunity to connect with a few friends from high school as well as my best friend from college.  It reminded me how much I enjoy having these people in my life and how it’s not often that we take time to catch up on each other’s lives and just enjoy each other’s company.

Things You Don’t Want to Regret

I was listening to the Fizzle podcast recently, and one of the things they mentioned are the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying by Bonnie Ware.  She was an Australian nurse who worked with many people during the last few months of their lives.  One of the top regrets of the dying is: “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”  It made me think about how important it is to invest in the relationships that are most important to me.

Take Some Time to Reconnect

It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, to throw yourself into your work, and to keep moving forward on the treadmill of life, but I encourage you to pause figure out how you can take a little more time to connect with your friends.  I talk to my best friend from college on the phone every week, but since she lives in New York, it’s rare for us to spend time together in RL (that’s “real life” for those of you who were going to Google it).  This weekend, we went on a walk, chatted, and enjoyed Sebastian Joe’s ice cream together.

When It’s Time to Reevaluate Your Priorities

We may think of investing as only about the dollars and cents, but investing in your relationships is what enriches our lives. Your friends and loved ones are the people who let you know when it’s time to reevaluate your priorities.  When your work starts to negatively affect your relationships, it may be time to reevaluate what you do for work.  At one point when I was working 60 hours a week trying to launch my business, I realized I barely saw my friends anymore — and that wasn’t good for me.  I was giving so much to my work, my clients and my computer, that at the end of the day I didn’t have much time for anything else.

Make Time for What’s Important

Now that I run my own company, I’ve been trying to live a well-rounded life.  I’ve tried to take more time for my family and friends, while I work on growing my business.  It makes me a better planner and a better person.  I want my clients to lead well-rounded lives as well and not just throw all their time into their jobs, their possessions, and their stuff.  Sometimes we choose to take lower paying jobs that are more fulfilling that allow us to have more time to spend with friends and family.  That is perfectly ok.  As a financial planner I’m telling you that if you’re working 80 hours a week and if no one wants to be around you, then that’s a bad thing.  I know that it might not be possible to quit your job right now, but maybe there are boundaries that you can set to start living a better life.

The Many Benefits of Friendship

Connecting with our friends is important, not just because it enriches our lives, but also because there are many powerful health benefits of friendship.   According to this 10-Year Australian study, friends can actually help you live longer.  There are other benefits as well, such as lowering stress levels, aiding in recovery of illnesses, and helping your good habits stick.  I do know one thing: my life would not be as rich without all of my wonderful friends.

Take a moment today to reconnect with a friend.  Pick up the phone, send a quick email, or mail a card, just to let a friend know that you care.  Even if you’re busy, I encourage you to find a moment to reach out and plan something fun with a friend even if it’s in a few weeks.  My hope is that when you look back on your life, you do not have these five regrets.  Invest in your relationships – it’s totally worth it.