“Probably the most neglected friend you have is you.”
—L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of the Church of Scientology
Image from Flickr by joelleen
Who are your very closest and best friends? Take a moment to list them by name. You may even choose to look back to your school years, and the different cities or towns in which you have lived throughout your life.
Did you put yourself on the list?
If you didn’t, you are not alone.
For some reason, the majority of people who take on this exercise rarely include themselves.
What are the reasons for the omission?
Why do so many of us neglect, ignore, or simply not consider our relationship with ourselves of paramount importance?
How and in what ways can you befriend yourself far more, from this point forward?
Consider reversing the Golden Rule and do for yourself what you do for others, as a starting point.
“Friendship consists of a willing ear, an understanding heart, and a helping hand.”
—Frank Tyger, American Cartoonist and columnist
Image from Unsplash by Matheus Ferrero
During my signature Personal Excellence Training program, new clients identify the most valued and important professional and personal relationships they intend to enhance through our coaching efforts.
When it comes to deep and meaningful friendships, I notice my male clients have fewer than my female clients. Yet men and women alike say they have a sense of diminished fulfillment, in terms of friendships, than they had at earlier points in their lives.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “To have a friend we must be a friend.”
With whom can you make an extra effort to offer a willing ear, an understanding heart, or a helpful hand, to realize more of the close and caring friendships you desire?
“Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.”
-A Farmers Almanac Philosofact
image from The Storage Facilitator
If you are a fan of Shakespeare, consider the advice Polonius provides to his son Laertes in Act I, Scene III of Hamlet:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.
What has been your experience with such matters? Where did things work out just fine, and where did things go wrong?
How do these sayings influence your point of view and perspective on being generous and helping others in need?
Consider responding to this post with your thoughts or perhaps discuss your view on this subject with a friend.
“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”
⏤Abraham Lincoln,16th President of the United States
Image from Flickr by Jim Grey
Perhaps no other single factor beyond personal motivation contributes more to eventual success than social support. This includes friends, family, teachers, mentors, and other encouraging individuals. Lincoln, often considered one of our finest presidents, attributed his success⏤which included many bumps in the road⏤to a loyal and supportive friendship.
Who are the individuals that are always there to support and encourage you to be your very best? Consider thanking them today, and let them know the difference they make.
How can you pay it forward by being the friend who believes in the highest potential of others? Perhaps there is a future Lincoln in the bunch!
“A friend is a person before whom I may think aloud.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th Century American Essayist
Image from www.lesaviezvous.net
How many true friends do you have?
I recently had a coaching session with a new client. He expressed a sense of emptiness due to a lack of true friends in his life, the surface nature of many of his relationships, and the significant lack of depth in his professional and personal discussions.
He also noted the need for greater courage and vulnerability, should he choose to open himself up and chance the risk of being judged.
Examine your own risk/reward ratio of thinking aloud more often, to develop and expand the friendships that can enhance your life.
“You’ve Got a Friend”
-Carole King, Grammy Award-winning American singer/songwriter
· Fight for you
· Respect you
· Include you
· Encourage you
· Need you
· Deserve you
· Stand by you
Someone once said that friends are the family we choose for ourselves. How large a family do you have based on the criteria above? How well do you demonstrate the same qualities?
In what ways and with whom can you be the kind of friend that people like Carole King writes and sings about? For a bit of extra credit, Google songs about friends to find a lot more to sing about.
“Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.”
– Pythagoras, pre-Socratic Greek philosopher
It is said that Pythagoras was the first man to call himself a philosopher, a lover of wisdom. Sources indicate that his ideas influenced Plato, and through him, all of western philosophy.
If this quote regarding being a friend to others was your predominate goal for each and every day, what results would be produced, and what level of happiness would you and others experience?
Select one friend, family member, or colleague today to travel with to support and encourage their journey to a happier life. Imagine a world where everyone did this!
“I get by with a little help from my friends.”
– John Lennon, singer/songwriter and member of the Beatles
Image from Flickr by betsyweber.
Over the past month, Wendy and I received more than a little help from our friends. I’m happy to say that with this help, she and my father are now safely back in Michigan to spend the spring, summer, and fall seasons.
We had various medical, personal, and logistical issues, and our friends sure came through to help us through some difficult times.
Take the time today to thank those close friends who have been there for you to provide that “little help” that is so often needed.
Make a point to both reciprocate these gestures of kindness whenever possible – and to watch out for others who need a hand, even if those individuals did not help you previously. Imagine how the world would look if we all followed Lennon’s coaching.