Many of us don't invest enough time and effort in cultivating relationships with co-workers and colleagues. 

No, I'm not saying we all have to be "bosom buddies," but shouldn't we strive to have cordial and healthy relationships with co-workers? Aren't these relationships often part of getting our jobs done well? 

You can be ambitious and still have good relationships with colleagues. And you do not have to be a backstabber. Being a backstabber - or even a loner - is often a choice made out of fear and selfishness. Even people with solitary jobs don't get a pass on this. Your choices determine your reality. 

We are here to be social. Life is hard. Why go it alone? Co-workers don't have to be adversaries and certainly not enemies. Smart employers promote socialization and team work. Within reason, these things help productivity and the bottom line. 

Truth is, we spend a good chunk of our lives at work. That's time we cannot get back. When you really think about it, time is more valuable than money. You can make more money, but we cannot get more than our allotted time on this earth.

Given the time we invest, doesn't it make sense to have the best possible experiences with co-workers and clients? Doesn't it make sense to have the healthiest relationships possible with your colleagues? I mean, look ... you're either going to have a good day or a bad one. You may as well try to make it good. 

And look ... I totally get it. There are plenty of jerks out there who are simply hellbent on being difficult. They thrive on creating conflict, division and drama. They're big-time pains in the butt. Just do the best you can with them.  Try not to internalize what they're giving you. That's really all you can do. Believe me, I know. I could give you plenty of examples, but I’m sure you’ve got plenty of your own.

As for your better-adjusted co-workers? Well, we can start by being warm and friendly, opening our mouths and saying "Hello," and then reaching out to people. Get over yourself. Get up out of your chair and go strike up a conversation (when you both have free time). This will help you grow. 

Does this sound like a first-grade lesson? That's exactly what it is. Somehow, in our quest to be sophisticated, we've lost sight of the basics. I’m sharing this with you, but I’m really talking to myself.

I've worked on literally hundreds of projects and I don't remember the work as much as I recall the lunches, weddings, graduations, dinners, christenings, movie outings, funerals and other activities involving co-workers. Again, I've never made any "best friends forever" at work, but work has provided me with many deep and rich experiences with other people. In fact, I don't recall the work as much as I remember the people. 

You might hate your job, but you can usually find like-minded co-workers who make things more bearable. This is what life (and work) is really all about. If you refuse to put this into practice, you are literally missing your life. Your life is flying right past you. You cannot get that time back. 

Life is too short to miss out on anything - especially life itself. Get over yourself. Drop your guard a little. Reach out. Yes, backstabbing competition and politics in the workplace are a reality, but co-workers don't have to be adversaries.

If you’ve been reading this, then that means I’m talking to you. Right?