The 5 Crucial Relationships You Need to Thrive

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One of the drawbacks of working from home as I do is the lack of person-to-person contact.

If I go too long without being with people in person, I can feel it. I’ll feel more irritable and my patience is shorter. My remedy is to get around people and deepen relationships.

The often cited study from Harvard coined “The Harvard Happiness Study” is the longest longitudinal study of the human experience. It began in the late 30’s studying Harvard students (largely white upper class male students) and in the 50’s merged with a similar study looking at the lives of Boston boys from rough upbringings that did well in spite of it.

Over the years and now onto the 3rd generation of participants in the study, the one conclusion the researchers can make is that the quality of our relationships in adulthood are proportional to our longevity and health. To summarize, the better our relationships, the longer we live healthier.

In Xperiential MBA, we put relationships as a key pillar of a well-lived life. Our relationships are critical for personal wellbeing, health, happiness, they are also equally important in business.

Here are the 5 relationships that you need to cultivate to thrive.

Family & Love

Having the support-systems of family is vital. For longevity it’s important. I’ve seen my parents take care of their parents to support them living well as long as they could and can. Certainly, that supports thriving into older ages.

Family relationships also support us now. One of the hallmarks of a thriving human – especially a professional – is being able to rest and turn your mind off the stresses of the job. We need it to recharge mentally so that we have the mental capacity to tackle the big problems long term.

My family provides that mental shut off for me. When I come downstairs after working, I can just be a Dad. Yes, that job of Dad certainly has its trying moments; yet overall my relationships with family are a place I can return to build up my mental strength & stamina.


Who do you laugh with? Who can you spend time with where you can be yourself? Take on hobbies? Again, finding the opportunities to recharge and reset.

They fill our emotional bucket and give us places to turn for support in life’s high moments and low moments.

Friends become a community. In the Netflix documentary “Secrets of the Blue Zones” the crew travels to places where communities outpace the life expectancy by decades. One of the hallmarks of a few of these places are the friendships of the aging population. They count their friend groups, whom they do activities with nearly daily, as a reason for the lifespan.


The best work rarely happens in a vacuum. Our professional relationships can help us get into doors and do our best work.

My career arch can be traced back to professional relationships. Because of the relationships I have and that even other people had, I was able to carve a path and land in positions that allowed me to take off.

Our business peers can get great sources of inspiration. Ideating with colleagues over a challenge will likely produce better ideas than if you’re working on it alone.


Who pushes you? Who can help you think outside of your current perspectives? Who has traveled in your footsteps that has paved a path you want to follow? Mentors provide this wealth of knowledge.

Mentors come in different flavors. We usually think of a mentor that we meet with to discuss our challenges and get their council. As a coach, I would put myself into that heading. I provide counsel to people who are looking for a new perspective.

Also, mentors can come from a distance. My partner Chris Suarez counts both Warren Buffett and his late partner Charlie Munger as mentors. Though he’s never met either, he’s studied them and learned from their writings and accounts. They have paved a path of how he thinks about business and doing life. Great mentors for sure.

Wealth Determiners  

In our lives, we have people that determine wealth for us. If we have people that work with us, professional advisors, clients, etc. that determine our wealth. It’s up to us to see those people as instrumental to helping us build wealth. When we do, we might act a bit differently, push different initiatives, develop deeper relationships.

In addition to our wealth determiners. We also need to develop relationships for the people who we determine wealth for. Sometimes the wealth determiner arrows can point both ways… people who determine wealth for us we also determine wealth for them. 

When we can get intentional around developing these 5 relationships in our life, you’ll have a richness that propels us forward in business and healthy longevity.

If this resonates and you want to go deeper into the development of relationships, come to our Xperiential MBA event in New York City June 18th-20th. Click here for details and to sign up.

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