Some time ago, I read a blog post by author and artist Austin Kleon in which he discussed originality and creativity. His rules for living creatively included “nothing is original,” “don’t wait until you know who you are to make things.” and “write the book you want to read.” His eighth of ten tenants from his book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative was “Be Nice. The World is a Small Town.” Austin said, “I’ll keep this short. There’s only one reason I’m here. I’m here to make friends.” Wow! This got me thinking!
Do you remember the thrill of making friends and meeting people when you first went to school or first ventured out of your house? Wasn’t meeting new people and making friends an amazing experience? When you’ve asked your child about his day, has he ever almost breathlessly said, “I made a new friend today!”? He is lit up with excitement! Somehow we can loose that excitement as we get older. I suggest we get it back!
Imagine the world if we all shared the philosophy that we are here to make friends. That doesn’t mean you are a doormat. It means you speak your truth. It means you are an assertive human being who values and respects others. It means you have the primary goals of creating deep connections with others and being in service. Imagine the world if we all shared that philosophy!
I encourage you to live this week – or this day or this hour – with the purpose of being here to make friends. Do this for the fun of it. Make that purpose – being here to make friends – your filter for everything you say and do and think. Make it your purpose with your co-workers, manager, drivers who share the road with you, dentist, your spouse and your children. See what a difference it makes.
With this as your intention, things become simple. Plus, your new friends will see you coming!