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Recent research by psychologists investigating the roots of happiness found that the happiest people are those who are closely connected with family and friends. They spend the least amount of time alone, and pursue both ‘personal growth and intimacy.’ They are people who fill their lives with meaningful, absorbing activities that keep them from focusing on the negative, or worrying too much. They live life ‘in the flow’ while doing what they are best at, gifted in – capitalizing on what psychologists call their ‘signature strengths.’

In other words, making ‘right connections’ with the world around you is vital to experiencing happiness.

‘Right connection’ is where we find comfort and safety – and a nurturing space that allow us to develop as a whole person…maturing inwardly as we develop outwardly. Extended periods of time without positive connection compromises our well-being. In research studies in the United Kingdom, psychologists have found that there is a direct link between lack of connection with others and blood pressure, while researchers at the University of Chicago found loneliness can speed aging. Without proper connection to others, our physical, emotional and cognitive powers weaken significantly.

The kind of connection we long for is the kind that creates a sense of belonging, a sense that we are ‘safe,’ cared for, loved and protected. Beneath what our culture labels ‘psychological disorder’ is, in reality, a soul crying out for what connection and community provide. Making the ‘right connections’ is imperative for achieving wholeness!

Succeeding at any endeavor is dependent on the nature and quality of your relationships. ‘The power of next’—who you are connected with – will influence and impact your life in direct proportion to your achievements and your success. When you have contact and connection with someone, impartation occurs; like electricity, a contact is a passage through which a current of positively – or negatively – charged electrons flow.

The value of building connections with others that are built on respect, loyalty and trust cannot be underestimated. The highest quality relationships are those built on love and respect.

The Bible is full of illustrations concerning ‘divine connections.’ David could not possess his kingdom without Jonathan… there would be no Boaz for Ruth without Naomi… Nehemiah accomplished in 52 days what Israel could not accomplish in years because of his positive relationships with the king of Persia, and his ability to find loyalty and trust among the people of Jerusalem.

In making positive connections that will help you create a happy and successful life, here are three points to consider:

1. What constitutes a ‘right connection?’ A relationship that creates a positive contribution to your life, offers nourishment to your mental, emotional, physical or spiritual well-being, and/or supports a God-given goal, mission or vision is a ‘right connection.’ This kind of relationship is often complementary, offering all parties involved the opportunity to ‘staff their weaknesses,’ strengthen each other,

and help each other fulfill their callings.

2. How do you make a right connection? The highest quality relationships are built out of mutual respect and unconditional love. The greatest commandment, given in Matthew 22:37-39, tells us: “Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’” Right connections are the fruit of having unconditional love. But you cannot love others until you love yourself, and you cannot truly love yourself until you know God’s love — by acknowledging His love for you!

3. How do you manage and sustain right connections? Knowing how to work alongside others for the good of the common cause is the key to success. Teamwork is the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward corporate objectives. Amos 3:3 points out, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” Purpose cannot be accomplished if there is no agreement.

Remember: connection with God releases His love in and through you and enables you to make the right connections with others that will bring forth blessings in your life.