I have two friends. Well, I have more than two friends… especially on Facebook, but lets say two friends that I actually know in person for a while. One friend is always positive. When I speak with her, she is always fun; sharing inspiring stories, and even if things do not go her way, she seems to be the happy-go-lucky type. Nothing seems to ruin her day.
The other friend is mostly gloomy. Whenever we speak, he has some disaster to share with me, or a story about another person that did him wrong. He seems to be ridden with judgment and negativity.
My day is full – between clients, family, and mundane (and not so mundane) tasks, I rarely have a moment to chill. When I drive for a meeting or some other commitment, I enjoy the quiet of being. But occasionally I would use the time to touch base with friends. If I have only fifteen minutes for a call, which friend of the two described above do you think I would rather call?
The two friends I mentioned are somewhat fictional, yet somewhat not. I trust that we all have such friends. The question I started to ask myself is which of the two I am to others? Am I the inspiring one or the gloomy one? The inspiring friend, my ego immediately protested; how can you even question this? But when my ego resists, I have learned to pause and observe.
I admit that on occasion I am that other friend. These occasions are now rare, but I can see times in my life where I was too busy venting and not enough inspiring; wondering why my friends do not call me more often…
I invite you to sit back and observe. Note how you behave when conversing with friends. Which of the two types are you to your friends? I realized that it is easy to criticize others for being negative, but the work needs to start at home. One way to address it is to ask several close friends to call my attention if and when I become whiney or judgmental. I no longer wish to be that guy. I wish to live a life of inspiration. It had been part of my journey these past decade, and it made a huge difference in my life. People ask me why I smile so often. Explaining it would be futile. Or I can just reply that maybe I found the secret for long and happy life.