For a myriad of reasons our friendships shift ongoingly throughout life. Many changes occur in stride, others are more conscious. Friendships can become stale, or lose their zest. Occasionally you may want to assess your friendships. If you feel a lacking perhaps it’s time to cultivate things.
If stagnate or drifting relationships cannot be reinvigorated then pursue other friendships. Look for individuals that have common interests or where there is matching intellectual or emotional depth. Pursue individuals that can have a positive influence on you. Associates through work, sports or other connecting threads may be of a friendly nature, but they are not friendships. Those associates are a good place to start when cultivating new friendships. The extra effort involved in reconnecting with old friends or scheduling time with someone new can be well worth the extra effort.
Good friendships are accepting of your differences and leave you feeling better for having spent time together. Look for friendships where you are left feeling; stronger, at ease, relaxed, inspired or perhaps just more content. Most importantly – Do you like who you are, when you are with them?
The way some people avoid silence as if it was the plague, I often think that many have yet to make friends with themselves. Unable to be with the thoughts that flit through their heads. I’ve seen people prefer bad background noise over turning off the radio or television.
We have heard about the power of positive thinking, and how optimism is better than pessimism, but knowing is not necessarily doing. Your mind travels with you – always – dispensing thoughts at random. Would you consider your mind an encouraging friend? Is it your ally? Your success depends on it.
Athletes need to be friends with their bodies; the synergy with their body is vital for athletic performance. Many athletes rely on muscle memory, to carry them through rote actions. They can trust their muscles to respond as needed.
The traits of good friendship include reliability, dependability, and mutual acceptance. Are your thoughts, encouraging, supportive, or filled with warmth and kindness? If your thoughts are derogatory, pessimistic, negative, or involve fear mongering, the relationship you have may be less than ideal.
Good friends see your potential, and remind you of your abilities. Good friends are honest, with compassion they let you know what you need to learn or remind you to look at the needed steps to create a successful project. One would not tolerate a condescending personal relationship, do not tolerate it from your mind. Your mind is trainable; you can teach it to be an encouraging friend. One day, it may even become your best friend.
“What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel … in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.” Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Often when we travel we are oblivious to what is happening around us. Overly focused on our destination and ‘are we there yet’ – we fail to notice the scenery along the way. As a canoeist, I can appreciate Trudeau’s sentiments.
Aside from the list of places garnered en route? I know you have probably ” Been there and bought the T-shirt” – But was it enjoyable? Was the experience enriching? How did you feel about the experience? We may assume the accomplishment of the goal is enough but acheiving the ‘desired’ can leave us feeling as if something is lacking. It is not the accomplishment alone that is worthwhile, more importantly is is how it was accomplished, and the little treasures we collect enroute. Those little positive encounters with fellow sojourners. There is always trade offs, nothing is achieved without impacting some other area of your life. What are those consequences? Remember; how you travel is as important as the destination. In life all we really have is a series of journeys, let us be sure to have enjoyable ones.