What do you think about when you think about building a good life?
How does one build a good life?
There’s an old saying, attributed to late Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, that says, ‘all politics is local’.
Similarly, building a life is an intensely ‘local’ process: it starts with building up the relationships in our lives, which, in turn, starts with conversations.
Long ones, short ones, two sentence ones, and twenty sentence ones.
Intimate ones, less intimate ones, business ones, and personal ones.
Calm ones, heated ones, productive ones, and destructive ones.
Your relationships with your spouse, children, siblings, parents, friends, neighbors—all of them start with and are shaped by conversations.
Remember this next time a moment arrives when you have an opportunity to talk about something important to you or to someone else in your life: Don’t miss out on the chance to continually build up and shape your life from the inside—that is, locally—to the outside, via the conversations you have every day with the people in it.
After all, if you do the opposite, i.e. try to build your life from the outside first, with lots of neat possessions, material goods, routines, and other things that might look good on the surface, you run the risk of feeling alone, empty, and disconnected from others, and, more importantly, from yourself.
Anthony Ferraioli, M.D.
Author, Don’t Get Married! (Unless You Understand a Few Things First)