Choose Your Friends Wisely
Look for pride, patience, and self-discipline.
What do you want from a friend? How much have you grown with your friend of 2 or 5 years?
The world-class advice goes if you want to be successful, walk with successful people. That is somewhat true. But how do you define success? We all describe our success differently. So take the time to decide what success means to you. Then use your parameter of success to look for what you want from a friend. A friend can help you grow!
Allison’s good friend, Laura, is her cleaning person. She said, “Laura works with a smile on her face and takes care of my house better than I care for my children. She is open and proud of her job. She is a good friend.”
It seems Laura is proud of her job, has the patience to produce superior service, and self-discipline to clean after her employer, Allison.
Look for a person who is proud of who she/he is and what she/he does. For example, Eno is honest in sharing her strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. She is unapologetic in celebrating herself, her family/community, and her job. Also, she is humble to accommodate others with different values or lifestyle.
Eno is a giver who helps others learn and grow. She displays her creativity for others to imitate or steal. She has no problem giving credit to her subordinates and believe in them even when they don’t believe in themselves.
Eno is proud and yet asks for help. She gives anonymously to people in need — — food, education, training, and job. Her pride embodies giving, humility, creativity, and compassion.
Patience is a virtue that drives our lives. Every good thing takes time and effort. For example, open your closet and pick out two pairs of pants from different brands. Turn each inside out. Do you notice the difference?
Or eat fast food and restaurant food. Did you experience the difference, and WHY? It takes time and effort to prepare food or make a tailored trouser.
Do we treat waiters nicely and give them a generous tip? What happens when we get stuck in traffic? Or, wait on the line for a cashier who is slow or being distracted by other customers?
Pay attention to an acquaintance when she/he is waiting on the line or when she/he interacts with other drivers on a busy highway. Does he/she practice patience?
If you lack patience, look for someone with a ton of patience. Paul will help you grow. Let’s look at how you can spot Paul. He finishes what he started, sets goals, and accomplishes most of them. Paul listens to you, accommodates your shortcomings, and practices acceptance. He rarely talks, but models and shows you how to be patient.
I learned patience from a good friend and my daughter. Both women are master chess players, and the game requires patience to win.
How can you find a true friend? Pay attention to a person who worships self-discipline. It is an essential skill worths learning and implementing. A friend with this skill will help you improve your life.
Instant gratification is a new thing in town, and your new friend, Mika, declines to participate in it. She is an outlier and refuses to join the crowd. Mika believes in hard work, self-respect, and self-awareness. She is aware of her goals and purposefully blocks distractions — an open-door-policy, gossipers, coffee, TV, cell phone, and apps.
Mika grabs time and money management because it helps her meet her goals. She embraces and accepts NO and uses it to her advantage. She values life and people and schedules time to be with her family and friends.
Who is your new friend? Meet Shelly. Shelly works full- time and has two teen daughters. She arrived late to the doctor’s appointment and complained to no one in particular, “I watched Netflix until 5 am this morning, and I’m so tired.”
It feels so good watching Netflix for 3–12 hours, but long hours of enjoying Netflix is rarely productive. Watch out for people who do things because they “feel like” it.
Are you following, Mika? She wakes up every morning at 5.30 am and eats vegetables every day. Mika doesn’t feel like eating plants or waking up at 5.30 am every day, but she does it anyway. She knows a long term benefit of sleeping and eating properly.
Friends can learn from each other or one another. A true friend can change your life for the better. Choose your friend wisely and look for three advanced skills — pride, patience, and self-discipline.
Help yourself grow!