This post was influenced by my friend Heidi. You must decide to be your own best friend. If you have read my blog even a little you know I advocate taking care of yourself first. To some this may sound selfish, but it is only by bringing the best you to life that you can best help others. An empty pitcher can never fill anyone’s cup.
Most people know that my lady is my best friend. She is smart, talented, loving and always supports me. This being said, if I didn’t have a healthy self-love I wouldn’t be able to be the man worthy of all of this.
So how does one become their own best friend? There are a million little things that have been listed in this blog and I would invite you to go back and read a few, but today we are going to touch on the major way. The most important thing in life we must decide is where to spend our wealth. I am not talking about where to spend our hard earned dollars we earn 40 hours a week or more. Of course that is important, but I am talking about how we spend something even more valuable than our money – our time.
Think about this, you can lend your friend your car and they can crash it. You can buy another. They could watch your house and burn it down. You could buy another. Still, if you decide to give someone your time and they turn out to waste it with drama, or gossip about others you will never get that time back. So be careful who you spend your time with. What do they bring to your life? This is not to say friendships should come down to “What can you do for me?”. Friendships are give and take. They say you have two hands for a reason. One is to reach out for help when you need it, the other is to reach out to others to help them when they need it. It is the friends who only call when they are in need that you must be careful of.
Last post I wrote about everyone sharing their gifts. This is true in relationships. My friend Russ for example shares his gift of deep philosophical thinking with me. My lady shares her artistic and creative ability with me. I do my best to share my gifts with them. So be careful with who you spend your time with. Remember no matter how much money you have you cannot buy more time. Your time is valuable, treat it as such
I’d like to share a fun memory with you. Do you have one amazing friend that you feel you have known forever. In fact, what you stop to reflect on your history together it seems hard to imagine you at one point in time didn’t have each other in your lives? Well this is such a story, and it comes with a very valuable lesson as well. I had met a this person through a long time friend of mine. As far as first impressions go it was an interesting one. In an attempt to cheer up our friend who was having relationship problems she went on to tell stories of why she didn’t care for men and how insensitive they can be. Being the only man at the table I learned it was probably wise just to not say anything at this point then say the wrong thing. As it turns out throughout our friendship I have made up for that plenty of times by saying the wrong thing, quite often at the wrong time. I dare not repeat the parting words of this conversation, but it did end with a toast.
Fast forward a few weeks and the same friend asks if I would like to me her and a few lady friends out for martinis. Well never being one to turn down such an offer I was excited to go. Well, this poor friend was still having relationship issues shall we say. As I got there I noticed the same girl who had voiced her displeasure with my gender was in attendance. She seemed extra joyful this evening. I was later to learn this is her normal state of being and the ‘man hating’ if you will was just an attempt to make our friend feel better about the certain situation. I soon learned part of the reason for the joyous atmosphere was they were celebrating my friend Angela getting a new job. Now maybe it is because I don’t have friends who either switch jobs or are too worried about being employed, but I had not been to such a celebration for a while. Not that I need a reason to enjoy a good martini, but I began to think of reasons I could be celebrating. First I started with the obvious, I was with 3 beautiful women drinking martinis. Then I thought about the fact that I am employed, I was meeting new friends…the list went on. Now I know this sounds close to finding reasons to be grateful and it is, but there is a very distinct difference. I am grateful daily for my beautiful friend Angela who was the one celebrating that evening. I am grateful for all the adventures we have had. Every time we get together (although those times are rare now that she moved out of state) we always seem to be celebrating something. That is truly how life should be, one continuous celebration. So next time you find yourself with a cocktail in your hand, or a cup of coffee, tea or whatever else you may be enjoying, even if you are by yourself, raise your glass and propose a toast. Even if all you can manage is “here’s to me because I am amazing” celebrate my friends because every day of this life we enjoy is a gift. I want to thank Angela for showing me that and for providing me one of the greatest gifts to celebrate our friendship
Many people ask after reading this blog, “well what is the secret?” “How do I start living a positive rewarding life?”. First things first, there is no magic formula to wake up and start living a positive life. In fact, I’m going to be honest it may take a week, maybe a month, maybe more. The closest comparison I can draw is getting in shape or learning to play an instrument. You don’t pick up the violin one time and suddenly become a master. Neither do you go to the gym once and expect to be in shape for the rest of your life. Developing a positive attitude is a lifetime journey. Just like playing and instrument or becoming physically fit different ways may work for different people. Now before this starts to sound too much like work or just another challenge you may not have time for. Remember that the journey to a positive rewarding life, although a struggle, brings with it rewards of a far greater proportion than the effort it takes to obtain them. Not to mention they continue to compound on each other. There are times people ask me, “ok how do I remain positive when ‘x’ happens?” The answer to that is two-fold. First, there are times when it is certainly ok not to be happy. Nobody is happy all the time and nobody should be. There are moments in life that try our souls and make us cry. Yet out of our sorrow we can even come to appreciate our joy more. The second part of that answer is that is a lifestyle change. When something goes wrong in our lives is not the time to start to be concerned with focusing on joy. Although I have seen tough times refocus some people. No, the perfect time to begin our journey is today, right this very second. That way when tough times come, as they will, we can face them with a more hopeful spirit and a positive outlook.