Friends, Family We Choose For Ourselves
We have all had moments where we are upset or wish for a different family at some point in our lives. I remember growing up and my brother and I got in trouble because we thought it was a good idea to paint each other from head to toe in blue paint. After a swift spanking and time out for a good 45 minutes (which felt like an eternity), I was ready for a different set of parents that would encourage my artistic genius. I guess I was just ahead of my time as an artist. However, no matter what type of fight or argument that spurs, you are stuck with your family. For better, or for worse. I think this is good though. It teaches you valuable lessons in sticking together when times get rough and allows you to appreciate the good times together.
When I was in high school I began developing stronger relationships with my friends. As time went on, I noticed some of those friends came and went. Even through college and into my career, I have had hundreds of friends. However, my true friends never left. They are the ones that were the positive influence on me, encouraged me to spread my wings, allowed me to dream big, supported my every move. I had a really hard time after college because I thought all my friends I hung out with were friends I would never lose however, I quickly learned they were more just drinking buddies. So since then, I have been very picky about who my good friends are because you have the choice to decide who your friends are. Your true friends are the family you get to choose for yourself. This idea brings together two different blog posts I wrote about earlier. First, happiness is about your relationships. So, why would you decide to put effort and time into a relationship that is not healthy? Whether it’s a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend, if it’s not healthy then you shouldn’t waste the effort. One thing I see often in couples is one person makes the other a priority which isn’t the case for the other party. For example, when Sue would drop anything to help her boyfriend Johnny and Johnny takes advantage of the situation this turns into an unhealthy relationship. I had a friend who would leave her friends and go to her boyfriends place whenever he requested, however whenever she needed his help he was too busy partying with his friends. I am all for the 100/0 principle but when you are missing out on opportunities and experiences for yourself then it becomes unhealthy. Secondly, happiness again comes down to choice. You choose your relationships. You can choose who your friends are and you can choose what relationships you want to build. Don’t be afraid to let some relationships go. Find new friends that make you a better person. Growing up, I had a lot of friends that I grew up with since elementary that decided to go down a different path than myself. I made the conscious decision to no longer put effort into being their friend. Many of them went on to not very exciting lives, living on couch to couch, unable to hold a steady job, drugs, jail and a depressing life. I noticed they were motivated by unhealthy activities that didnt coincide with my dreams. Whenever I approached them with something I enjoyed they ridiculed and opposed it (back to my blog post about the three stages of truth). I found myself happiest when I had friends that would positively participate in the relationship by encouraging me to pursue my dreams, participated and supported me and were always there to help out. Here is a video by BJ Galagher about Friends. It all comes down to relationships, how you have the power to choose who you want to be around, and you will be happiest when you choose positive people that encourage you just as much as you encourage them. Because when you have true friends in your corner, it’s impossible to fail.