2024 January 30 The power of friendship

Jan 30, 2024

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website about reimagining your life. Thanks for joining me today to talk about friendships. So let's get started. If you like what you hear today, please leave a like, tell your friends, send me a message.


We all know what a friend is. There are lots of different kinds of friends, of course, but hopefully know what a good friend is.  It's fun to think about that because we all have slightly different definitions of what makes a good friend, though I think most of us would probably agree that it's someone you enjoy being around, you respect, and they respect you, you have mutual interests, and you have at least some common goals.


This past weekend was Podfest down in Florida, and although I had planned to go at the last minute, I had to cancel and back out. I was really disappointed.  I didn't care so much about the show. The show would have been fun, but I mostly wanted to see a friend who I've known through podcasting for a number of years.


We've messaged a number of times over the course of the show. It started last Wednesday, but then, unexpectedly on Saturday night as he was driving home from the show, he called me. We ended up talking for nearly an hour while he was driving. It was a lot of fun. It was a delightful surprise. What a difference it made to catch up on so many things. It completely changed my mood from before he called. 


It turns out I'd really lifted his mood too with one of the messages I had sent to him when we were messaging back and forth. If you've ever gone to a trade show, no matter how much fun and how interesting it might be, they can be very demanding. If you've never been to one, imagine being totally extroverted, talking to anyone and everyone who goes by, hopefully not on a superficial basis, but on a more serious basis, and do that for a couple days straight.


No matter how much you enjoy it, it's still a lot of work.  After a few days of this, you're just plain tired. So when you get an upbeat message, it really perks you up. When you get an upbeat call, it also really perks you up. It just completely reenergizes you. So here, these two dudes, both pretty tired out for complimentary reasons, managed to reinvigorate each other by simply making an effort to maintain our friendship and communicating with each other. How amazing is it that so much positive energy can come from something so simple? Just making a phone call, sending a message, and thinking about somebody.  


I'd consider him a good friend. We don't see each other all the time, and we may not even talk for months, but we're always both crossing each other's minds, and we're always both interested in helping each other out when there's something we can do for each other. That's the real basis of a relationship that you can count on. 


So, what does this have to do with our regular theme of re-envisionment and goal setting? We generally don't live in a vacuum, and we have to interact with the rest of the world to some degree. For a balanced life, I'd suggest that your vision and goals include some space to maintain friendships, and hopefully some good friends.


Friends, like spouses, are a funny thing. They're something that you usually don't find by searching for them, but they often appear when you allow a place in your life for them to come in and fill that space.  We've often talked about maintaining a balance in life, working towards your goals while remaining mindful and aware of all the other aspects of life that surround you. 


Even if you're an introvert, friendship still plays a role in helping you manage the stresses that always crop up and give you some support and energy to help face life's uncertainties. Just like helping others helps yourself to grow, nurturing a friendship, even in small ways, helps both sides of the friendship to grow.


For me, one of the fun things about a nice friendship is it often helps remind me how others see me. I can be pretty hard on myself, and it's always a wake up reminder when someone else gives me an unexpected compliment. This isn't trying to be self impressed or searching for compliments, but rather it's a reminder that we sometimes tend to focus on all the things that we don't do and forget that we really have made at least some progress in our lives.


That's it for tonight. I planned to cover a couple of things, but decided that friendship and its role in our lives was important enough to stand alone. I know sometimes it may feel like we have no friends to speak of, but very often, just like forgetting that we have made progress in our own lives, we also sometimes forget that there are others who care for us, and with whom we have a mutual vision.


That naturally leads us into our homework for tonight (always optional) is to think if you have any people that you would consider good friends. If you do, that's really great. Think of the last time you spoke with them, and when you might speak with them again. If you feel like you don't have any good friends right now, then think about some people who you enjoy being around, or who you admire.


Think of a way that you could open up a conversation with them, and perhaps try and start a friendship. Extra points if you take even a small action to reach out to that friend or potential friend. Just to check in and see how you can make that friendship even a little bit longer. 


So, that's it for the night. Remember the war in the Ukraine and the war in the Mideast.There are so many things going on. You can go to UKR7.com for a list of links to donate to Ukraine. You can also visit WCK.org, the World Central Kitchen. You could donate and volunteer and do a lot of things. Everybody's situation is different. You may not be able to right now, and that's certainly understandable. Even if you just do something small, there are a lot of things you can do just to make the world a little bit nicer for whomever you come across. 


As always, thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along. Please hit that like button. If not, please remember to drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dreamed of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone. See you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you. 


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