In Chapter 7 of his book “Resolved: 13 Resolutions for Life”, Orrin Woodward identifies eight essential principles for building and maintaining long-term “philia” friendships; philia meaning the love between two friends. I won’t cover all eight principles here (because part of the journey of reading through “Resolved”is your own self-discovery); instead I want to focus solely on principle 3 – True Friends Approve of One Another, simply because this one continues to strike a cord with me personally.
Epicurus once noted, “It is not so much our friend’s help that helps us, as the confident knowledge that they will help us.” How many people can unequivacly state that they have people like this in their lives right now? By today’s standards these relationships are rare and most often times confused with a lessor relationship type.
A key component of this principle is investing time in the person you call your friend, then look for qualities and attributes that you respect in them – and then make sure you consistently share those thoughts with them. As surprisingly easy as this sounds, most do not invest that heavily in to friendships; instead we are usually focused on the most important person in our lives, ourselves. We constantly struggle with wanting to be better, wanting to be important, or wanting to be more than we are. However our wants cannot be found by focusing on ourselves. What most people fail to comprehend is that in order to have those things, we need to develop strong philia relationships with the people in our lives. Only then will we be able to develop confidence and skills that push us forward – and with strong fundamental friendships to boot.
I only wish that this information had been present in my life earlier; I could have avoided the complete ruination of relationships with people that I once held dear to me. I see now how my (lack of) action eroded the friendships to the point where I was no longer seen as having any contributable value in their lives. Because I did not invest my time in them, failed to recognize the best parts of them and neglected to be consistent in my friendship, the relationships staled past the point of no return in their eyes. Instead of a close relationship now, I get the best part of their friendship through social media, like any other acquaintance in their lives.
So what have I learned from this experience and how have I grown?
As heartbreaking as it is to lose friendships that had previously spanned decades I can say that I now know what it takes to grow and nurture a healthy friendship. I recognize the value of having friends that I can turn to who will encourage me to keep trying and who instill me with the confidence that I need to get where I want to be in life. The best part is that I can encourage them to do the same….
“Resolved” is a book that covers much more than friendship; it is a focus on self-improvement through leadership principles. If you are going through an internal struggle, this book will have the answers to your questions and more. If you hate where you are in life, read this book and find a way out. Take a chance on yourself and be surprised where your journey takes you.
Resolved is the Flagship Book of the LIFE Subscription Series.