40 Tips To Re-Invent and Re-Launch at Age 40, 50, or Beyond. (Tip #2)
If you want to change your life, surround yourself with people who are living the life you desire. Jim Rohn famously said "You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with". Think about that and look around at how your peers choose to spend their time. It is your future.
Recently I was chatting by phone with an person who wants to have a career as a professional speaker. I asked her "How many speaker friends do you have?" She had no reply. After a few seconds she asked "Do you count?" (we were are not yet really "friends", as we just met). I am unclear how anyone can enter a new industry or lifestyle without knowing people who are living in that arena.
It can be difficult to make new friends as we get older. For Generation X or the Baby Boomers it might seem like they have all their friends in place for life. Yet people will come and go from your life at all stages if you are open to sharing your world with others, you can find the right people.
Early in life we have school, clubs, sports and other formal and informal activities that bring us together with new people. Relationships are forged through shared experiences, but in today's hyper busy world we tend to be isolated quite often. Thus to make new friends you must put in a serious effort.
To find create new connections you first must act like a friend. What do friends do? They care. They listen. They put the other person first. They make sacrifices. Etc.... In real life we often behave in opposite ways to those we do not know, thus making it even harder to get to create friendships.
It is like dating; all parties must be committed to moving it forward if you want anything lasting and meaningful to occur.
Join organizations, and get involved. If you can't find the right organization, start your own group. Try getting people together for coffee or drinks on a regular basis. It has never been easier to reach people with shared interests. But realize that meeting someone once does not make them part of your network. Meeting them once makes them somebody you have met once. There is a big difference between a single encounter and a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship. Be patient and work to understand the motivations and needs of others, in addition to your own.
Remember, not everyone you want to make part of your inner circle will want to be your friend. That is okay. There are plenty of great people in the world, and you can find the right tribe with effort and patience.
Additionally, there are times when friendships come to an end. While sad, it is not uncommon and should not create excess drama. You cannot make people be part of your world, so happily enjoy the memories and then surround yourself with the people who have come to share the next chapters of your life.
Have A Great Day