Friends can have a huge positive impact on you… if you choose wisely and if you allow them to. Positive friends can hold you accountable. They can introduce you to new concepts and ways of living. Friends can teach you compassion, forgiveness, and how to enjoy life. They encourage you while you’re down and support you when you need it. Friends are people to talk to or grab lunch with. They can help you create a business plan or tell you a funny joke to brighten up your day. Friends can teach you new ways to communicate or cook a steak.
When you are with your friend(s) you shouldn't feel drained and used. Friends can make you feel welcomed and loved. They should heal you, not misuse you. They should cheer you on. They should be honest. Family doesn't always mean blood relation. Some friends are more of a family member than some people's actual family members. They stick up for you. Friends can even be online or across the ocean. It’s not about how many friends a person has. It’s all about who you can count on at the end of the day.
Sometimes it's difficult to discern when someone has your best interest at mind. Take their advice or not? There is a difference between unwarranted opinions and constructive criticism. Some folks see them as the same thing. It’s not. Ask yourself, does this suggestion help me, or is this person trying to put me down? Everyone feels entitled to their opinion. This is especially true on the internet where it's easy to hide behind a screen. They all think their words are so truthful and helpful. Educating others on concepts are topics they're unfamiliar with is helpful... if it's done without the tone of condescension. Users on social media are hasty with insults and distasteful commentary. They think they are right and no one can or should change their minds. This young woman I watched on YouTube bought a teeth whitening kit because people kept commenting about how yellow her teeth were. First of all, it's natural for teeth to yellow over time due to the enamel wearing off over time (read more about here). Second of all, yellow teeth can be caused by drinks like coffee, not necessarily bad hygiene. Some people like to spew their unwarranted, and unnecessary commentary because they can, not because there is something informative about it. Don't let anyone tell you how to live your life unless it's positive constructive criticism!
*Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash.com
What do you want from life?
Happiness? Money? Love? Stability? Question your motives and tactics. Reach for what you want. You must gain something from what you’re doing. If not, wants the point? Something drives you to continue your degree, work that double shift, or attend that workshop. There is a point to make, a goal to achieve, find that. Everything you do now promotes your future. Even if you make changes to your lifestyle, those changes affect your future too. Experiences can teach you something about yourself, other people, the way society works, or how to overcome obstacles.
Are you following society/culture?
I’m sure millions of kids have parents who have outlined their future. Their mom or dad wants them to go to a specific school, be in a certain profession, and marry the right type of person. It shouldn’t be like this. Not only parents, but the society we live also outlines the path that people should strive for. There are several problems with that idea. One problem is, everyone should have the same outcome. Not everyone can become a doctor. Not everyone can/will want to travel three times a year. Not everyone wants to get married. There is a such thing as individuality for a reason. Every individual must think and act for themselves or else you’re not even living your own life. Like I said in the beginning, question your motives.
What do you hope to gain?
What is the result of your hard work? Going through the motions without having direction is a waste of your potential. It can take years before this question is answerable. You don't always know what you want. Sometimes you look back and realized how much you gained from going to college or doing an internship that taught you valuable skills. Don't sell yourself short. It's possible to set goals and achieve them. It's possible to build that business, get the master's degree, get that promotion, or make a big move to another state.
I hope these questions jogged your brain and made you re-think your actions. Stay tuned for more!
*Photo by Jason Leung on unsplash.com
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