“The man or woman who treasurers his friends is usually solid gold himself.”
—Marjorie Holmes, 20th Century American columnist & author
Two of our most treasured friends live near Poughkeepsie, New York. Wendy and I first met Emmy and Clark in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Every August since 1984 we’ve joined them for a week at our annual timeshare, Shawnee on the Delaware. Beyond these annual vacations, we have stayed in touch to share many happy times, including birthdays, BBQs and other family celebrations.
Over the years, Emmy has sent us hundreds of handmade, personalized purple cards, to let us know we are in her thoughts. During some of our most challenging times, we would receive these “Pick Me Up” purple messages each week.
Who are the solid gold friends in your life? What purple card-like gesture can you offer these special people to more fully demonstrate how much you treasure them?
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”
—Richard Bach, American 1970s Author
Image from Unsplash by Leonardo Yip
During a recent trip out of the country for two weeks, my wife Wendy and I had very limited contact with our family. We did, however, travel with two good friends and a little over 700 other shipmates to explore Greece and Israel.
In addition to our fellow passengers, we were served and supported by over 400 staff and crew from over 40 countries.
To our delight and joy, we both experienced a new level of friendship and a genuine sense of a global family.
Where and how can you experience far greater respect and joy within your extended communities beyond your immediate family? What would be the value and impact of this expanded family bond in your life?
“When people are like each other, they tend to like each other.”
—Tony Robbins, American author, philanthropist and life coach
Image from the Jane Goodall Collection
Did you know that humans and chimpanzees share about 96 percent of the same DNA? Perhaps this is why we enjoy documentaries on these special creatures. When we observe them, we see numerous ways we are alike, such as in the care and nurturing of baby chimps.
Regarding human-to-human interactions, we often operate out of the Birds of a Feather Flock Together idea. At the same time, we can be very focused on where and how we differ as reasons to avoid, dislike, and even hate one another.
How would looking for the similarities and common characteristics and traits of others be the source of more friendships and closer communities in your world?
“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?
“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.