Social connection is so much a topic of our time that the Huffington Post has a directory set aside for it. Feeling connected is important. When we feel connected, our bodies release good hormones. When we are connected, we have help with problem-solving. Connection is good.

Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about gardening and social connection. It’s a useful metaphor because gardens – like social connection – require attention. We tend a garden. We choose our site. We plant seeds. We water them. We pull weeds. We add fertilizer. If you are an experienced metaphor wrangler, you can imagine where we are going.

  • Put yourself in situations where you will be around people with whom you have something in common.
  • Be yourself out loud.
  • Connect repeatedly.
  • Disconnect respectfully, when you discover a relationship doesn’t work.
  • Have fun.
  • Repeat.

Like gardening, social connection is pretty simple. Sometimes the repetition gets boring, but diligence is rewarded with beautiful surprises. As the French philosopher Voltaire said, we must cultivate our garden.