Guess…with positive intent

Yesterday we had one of those conversations.

The kind of conversation that matters.

The kind of conversation that means something.

We talked about marriage and when you just take the leap.

We talked about kids and parenting.

We talked about struggling when you are young, in the middle, and when you are older.

We talked about roles in life.

We talked about jobs and insurance.

We talked about finances and trying to create and stick to a direction.

We talked about good advice we get from others.

We talked about bad advice we get from others.

We talked about making plans.

We talked about trying to make everything perfect.

We talked about waiting to act.

Road Map

We talked about how in life there isn’t some clearly defined road map. And depending on your circumstances or life story it is easy to feel completely lost without a good example of how to move forward.

We don’t have all the answers.

We are not always sure which way to go.

We are not given a map in life.

We have to guess.

We decided that the best advice is guess with positive intent.

We decided to define a “guess with positive intent” as evaluating options, and taking your best shot at the time, but with the intention of doing something good, positive, and meaningful. This doesn’t mean that we will always get it right, but this option moves us forward without having to be perfect, but our desire is to do something well and meaningful. If it was not the “perfect” choice, you make the next guess with positive intent, and keep trying.

How do you become a good parent? No idea. Try stuff. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you know when to get married? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you know which career path to take? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you make a relationship last? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you decide when to switch careers, or try something new? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you [insert your question or dilemma here].

Our advice. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

 

A Little Friendly Research Part 7 (The Finale)

Part 7. The Finale.

Wondering what this is all about? Start here.

I asked. You answered.

Question 8: Anything else that you would like to share?

[Insert name] is a great friend.

This exercise, especially questions 6 and 7, gave me pause – made me think. Thank you for that.

Yes.

Regardless of the type of relationship you have you get out what you put in.

Friendships are difficult. time and distance have a way of seeing some friendships lose their closeness. Yet many friends, who I don’t see on a regular basis because of distance, etc. can pick up where they left off immediately because the disruption of the friendship wasn’t based on wounds of differences, but just life. Others dissolve because of differences that went unresolved. Those are the hardest. Unresolved conflict is tough.

[insert name] is a great friend and I appreciate [name].

Question 9: In 10 words or less, what advice would you give to the World about friendships?

Treat a friendship like a romantic relationship and vice versa.

Friends are one the greatest gifts you will receive. They… (sorry there was a 10 word limit.)

(Just Kidding) …provide laughter as well as keep you from wandering off in the desert of life.

Be the friend you want to have.

It’s not a contest.

People always come into your life for a reason, enjoy!

Being willing to be vulnerable when you want to retreat because you are hurt or misunderstood, is well worth it. If that friend truly values you and your friendship, he or she will cover that vulnerability with grace. Your friendship can grow stronger in spite of the struggle. Way more than 10 words. Lol.

I’m breaking the rules and combining 8 and 9.

I don’t have any advice, but I will share a wish. When I think about my friendships, it occurs to me that most (if not all) of them are largely based on convenience. It’s convenient because we live near each other, or because we work together, or because we’re in class together, etc. If that convenient variable were removed, I don’t know what would happen to those relationships. Would they make the effort to maintain them? Would I? I know that feeling like a friend-when-convenient is pretty sad; I’ve felt that way, and I’m sure I’ve made others feel that way too. I wonder if this is just the way it is with the friendships we have in adulthood?

If so, my wish is that we could find a way to do better than that. I wish that friendships were a higher priority, despite all of other things competing for our time and energy. I wish we valued them more. I wish that we’d protect them, and fight for them. I wish we’d be more willing to do the work to sustain them, even when it’s not convenient. Especially then.

Ten words: Food and friendship enhance each other.

Thank you again for all of you who answered and shared this post with others. Keep sharing, keep answering, and most of all keep questioning.

What’s next? My turn.

Advice for a New Job/Year

Old Email

While cleaning out some old piles of paperwork, one sheet of paper caught my eye. A printed copy of an email from 18 years ago.

Words of advice from my first boss and mentor on the eve of taking a new job. The first real job after college.

The advice resonated today just as much as it did those many years ago.

  1. Follow through on what you said
  2. Build relationships
  3. Find out what is important to your staff and other people
  4. Life is more than work
  5. Relationships are built on trust and take time
  6. Study the budget – it is your tool/guide for the year
  7. Most of all have fun (when it stops being fun, it is time to move to something else)

Thank you Michael for the words, advice, and guidance. These words helped me in the first job, and should help us all as the new year begins.