It’s autumn, and the weather’s been great! I’ve been lucky enough to be able to spend an unreasonable number of days outside with friends in the past few months. Those of you who know me may have trouble believing this, but I’ve spent a lot of time listening to them talk about their lives (rather than shooting off about the latest ideas about self-improvement and success from Ian and me). It turns out I have some very interesting friends! Who knew?
But seriously, getting to know my friends better has reminded me to slow down and listen, and that no matter how it looks from the outside, everybody’s life is full of both challenges and victories, both foes and friends, and both sadness and success. And that we’re all in a constant process of sorting out the balance between the assortment of things we perceive as good and bad in our lives. Sometimes the bad can overwhelm us, but when we have people around us who sincerely listen, it really helps to sort things out.
I realize these simple concepts may seem trite, but the truth is, our social mindset has really emphasized personal development, sometimes at the expense of good old fashioned friendship. It’s true that we *should* associate with people who can help us succeed, that we *should* adopt behaviors and habits that facilitate personal growth, and that we *should* push the people around us to be the best they can possibly be. Sometimes. At other times, it makes sense to slow down, become a bit reflective, and really listen to what the people closest to us have to say. [But not like this!] You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself!