Imagine you are getting ready for an important meeting with your trusted advisors. You walk into a beautiful conference room, full of light and beauty. Around a glistening oak table sit 9 lovely chairs, waiting for you and your advisors. You take your place at the head of the table. You are so excited for this meeting. You know that the advisors gathered will give you what you need at this moment. The issue you are bringing to the table today doesn’t need all of them. so you only call a few to this meeting. However, you know that when a big issue arises, you can call everyone.
These trusted advisors sitting around the conference room are the friends in your life that pour wisdom, hope, laughter and love into your life. As you imagine yourself sitting at this table, who are the people you see sitting at this table? By imagining the most trusted people all sitting around the conference table, you can begin to see the strengths of the people who surround you, the skill sets that may be missing and perhaps people that you may need to put at another table – one you visit less frequently.
Friends play such an important role in our lives and making intentional choices influence the quality of our lives. It’s not the quantity as much as the quality.
According to author Carlin Flora in her book, Friendfluence, friends can give you vital life skills.; “the very abilities one generally needs to be successful in life” (p. 6). There are many perks of friendship include sharpening your mind, making you generally happier, knowing yourself better, becoming inspired to reach your goals, advancing your career, helping you meet romantic partners, and living a longer and healthier life.
For me, my trusted advisors hold a variety of roles, which reflect the facets of my personality. My husband sits at my table as my closest friend as does a girlfriend of 30 years. Then I have a dear pastor friend, two coaching mentor friends, a prayer partner and a daughter who all pour into my life. I also have a college roommate who I know I can call at anytime and a business friend who loves me the way I am. I can only handle a few friends at my conference table at a time. Of course, we don’t meet all at once, but I visualize them sitting at my table and know who I can call on for what.
However, in the backdrop of my conference table are the long-time friends who I can pick up wherever I left off and bring me comfort in memories. Keeping in touch with childhood friends and friends over time takes effort but research shows it is worth the effort. I love knowing I have friends that are still there from 40 years ago and the memories we have together.
As Susan Krauss Whitbourne , a professor of psychology at University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of the book, The Search for Fulfillment writes, The upshot is, you need friends and they need you. What about you? How do you connect with your friends? Who is around your conference table? How do you access the knowledge and wisdom of your friends and how do you share yours? Share your friend-giving insights on LiveFullyLifeCoaching facebook page or in the comments below.