“Choose Your Friends Wisely” Episode Overview
Larry Hagner and Shawn Stevenson talk about how important it is to choose your friends wisely. Listen as Shawn and Larry share knowledge gained at a Tony Robbins event: Jim Rohn’s “The Law of Averages” when it comes to your circle of friends. Shawn and Larry also share their background and talk about what led them to coming together to create The Good Dad Project: Teaching men to strive to be better every day, living with purpose, on purpose.
Surround yourself with positive people who will lift you up, support you, and keep you accountable. Take inventory of the five people with whom you spend the most time; they are the ones who are the highest influencers of your life.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
These people can be either energy boosters or drainers, and they can either have a positive or negative (even toxic) influence on your life. You’re a product of the average of the five friends or five people with whom you hang around. You’re a product of your environment, but you’re also a creator of your environment.
Are the individuals you have relationships with serving or disserving you and your kids, from a non-selfish perspective? Are these people exhibiting traits that you wish to see mirrored in your own behavior and in your children’s behavior? Are these people safe in your life?
Choose your peers and your company wisely. They can be friends or even family members. Be conscious of who you let into your life and what level of intimacy you allow them to reach. Distance yourselves from toxicity, although you don’t have to necessarily cut ties with these people.
Be the First One to Step Up
Seek out a support network. Be willing to open up honestly about your struggles: work-life balance; marital issues; work related issues; children related issues; any issues that we as men face. Ask for feedback and advice on how your friends and dealing with the issues you’re facing.
That other person will open up to you: He/She will give advice yet also ask for advice. What you will find in that conversation is common ground, whether it’s the same issue you’re struggling with or another issue.
You’ll discover something a lot deeper than the surface small talk that most people normally engage in. Go further than what most men feel isn’t “appropriate” to share. You can create a safe place to go to have a real conversation. You’ll create a whole new world of having a richer connection with someone in a very positive way, a more meaningful friendship and deeper level of trust.
Challenge: Find at least that one good friend with whom to have a deeper conversation.
Be Strong Enough to Be Vulnerable
Sharing is therapeutic in itself. Sometimes we can find solutions to our problems by talking about them openly with others, especially with another man since they can innately better relate to us in general. Vulnerability is a skill. People relate to vulnerability and imperfection, not the persona of a perfect life because life is imperfection. Instantaneously, people feel more connected with you and have a better rapport with you. They feel like they know you and can build a deeper level of trust.
Men tend to be problem solvers, scanning the databases of their minds for information and past experiences to help. Women tend to be more nurturers, wanting to talk it out and be heard. Of course, these are just generalizations and not necessarily true for an individual person.
When listening, what would be beneficial is to ask your friend or partner: Do you want me to listen, or do you want me to fix it for you? Be willing to also be a supportive person to others.
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