I’d been thinking all day that I would sit down to write my blog. Finally, at about 9pm I sat at my computer… my mind was blank. I waited for divine intervention. Sometimes I already have a clear idea of what to explore, sometimes I have a request from a reader, and other times… blank… but there’s also a lot of trust in that space for me.
So it was not surprising to me that I was only waiting for about 5 seconds when the phone started ringing. It was Nikki. I’m not sure I’d have answered the phone to anyone else at a time when I’m made a commitment to spend the next hour writing. But I’ve known Nikki for eighteen years and we have, without a doubt, positive sentiment override (see last week’s article for more on what that is) in our friendship. So if it was an emergency, or she simply needed to talk, I’d have prioritised that. If not, our positive sentiment override affords me the privilege to return to my article and call her back tomorrow.
Or, after having a better idea, I said “Nikki, your timing is impeccable… What was one of your challenges this week?”
Nikki said “Making sure I made it a priority to call you.”
Nikki, bless her, started apologising at the sudden concern that what she’d said might have sounded like I was just another thing she had ‘to-do’. But I knew what she meant. What drove her to pick up the phone and call was the exact same thing that drove me to answer the call. And the phone call could have ended right there and it would have been enough.
We talked some more about the concept of friendship. One of the things that Nikki said and I wrote down was “You’ve got to always work on your friendship; maybe it’s not always going to be there.”
It definitely got me thinking. I just ‘do’ friendship in a way that resonates with me. And when I think about Nikki and my other closest friends, they ‘do’ friendship in much the same way. Obviously that’s why we’re friends – it’s not rocket science.
“Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” - Muhammad Ali
It’s also not something I tend to articulate very often. So now, as an ode to my friends, I suggest the following values for friendship and to which I commit:
- Work on the self – When you have an understanding of who you are and what drives you, you enhance your ability to take an objective look at how you contribute to situations and relationships. Work on the self creates high self-regard and self-esteem and these mean that you are able to give and receive honest feedback.
- Responsibility – Taking action around the honest feedback I receive from my friends and the world. Owning my part in life and the results I get.
- Loyalty and trust – Keeping my word. Conscientiousness.
- Empathy – Remembering that my view of the world and any situation is exactly that – MY view.
- Fun and love – Not taking myself too seriously because life is too short. Laughter. Pursuit of passion.
- Work on the self – This value is deliberately repeated because everything I create, including my friendships, starts and ends with this. Working on the self doesn’t mean I always get it right. It’s a commitment to improvement and a willingness to be vulnerable. Self-awareness makes possible greater levels of responsibility, loyalty, gratitude, empathy and love.
I agree with Nikki that we need to work on our friendships. I’ve also found that the more I work on myself, the more my friendships seem to work out for themselves.
The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development.
I used to say, ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.’
Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.’
- Jim Rohn