As technology changes the way we interact and as people place more value on competing with their friends than on connecting with them, it’s critical that we intentionally surround ourselves with people who really enhance our lives. And once we know who these people are, we must develop strong, lasting bonds with them. Being able to do this and do it effectively impacts your mental health as well as your professional success, according to Rob Siegfried, CEO and Founder of Siegfried.

Rob recently hosted the company’s 15th MY Journey® event – this one focused on Compelling Connections. He explained that now is the time for us to put our intention and attention on building deep, meaningful relationships that stand the test of time and bring value to both parties.

Connections are critical to mental well-being

Johann Hari, author, journalist and TV personality, spoke to the group with an emphasis on what makes life meaningful — our connections to other people. “There are problems when connections aren’t there,” Hari said. “Being lonely is devastating to humans. You need to feel that your life has meaning and purpose. You need to feel that people see you and value you. You need to feel you have a future that makes sense.”

Hari also analyzed the adverse effect of junk values on our mental health and our relationships. Junk values are those things we do because of our extrinsic motives — we don’t do them because we find them worthwhile, we do them because we want to get something out of it. Hari warns that doing things for the wrong reasons can make you more depressed, increase your anxiety, and stop you from finding meaning and connections in your life.

Meaningful relationships empower you

“The activities we do and philosophies we instill at the Firm are the exact opposite of junk values,” expressed Rob. “We want you to get in touch with your more essential values — those important qualities and aspects of your personality that are significant to you and that you bring to the people in your life.”

The benefits of deep, meaningful connections include a more fulfilled sense of self, higher overall happiness, lower stress levels, and most importantly, a better understanding of yourself.

Ultimately, Rob asked that his employees look for people they are compelled by because they’ll help them be the best they can be. “Find and attract in relationships that are beneficial and worth the effort and screen out those that suck the energy out of you. Surround yourself with people who are really enhancing your life,” he said. “The results will surprise you.”