This past weekend, I watched the HBO Friends Reunion Special.

I’m a huge fan of the show that aired from 1994 to 2004. That was a period of my life where I could very much relate to the foibles and fun of people who were my contemporaries in age and life experience. Although married and with children, the stories surrounding Ross, Phoebe, Monica, Joey, Chandler, and Rachel resonated with me.

One of the unique things about the show was that it didn’t center around one person who had friends (see Seinfeld as an example). It centered around a group of friends equally. I hadn’t considered this until the reunion special when the creators talked about this. As I look back on all the many television sitcoms I’ve watched, I’m having trouble finding another show like it as respects situation.

This really is a true example of the lives we lead. Life – personally and professionally – is a team game.

In my book, I discuss the concept of ‘one ball, one destiny.” However, that does not indicate a lone wolf existence. In fact, it requires that we all can’t be brilliant, successful, or have any fun without others.

To that point, friends are a necessity for mental, emotional, and even physical health and wellness. We laugh, cry, and enjoy activities with friends. Even a pandemic that has limited physical interaction can’t stop friends from talking, meeting, and creating strong bonds.

Friends can be family members, and hopefully that’s the case for all of us. Friends are those people you can count on “when the rain starts to fall;” when you need someone to simply talk to or hang out with. They are those people you want to share the best experiences with, but also be able to count on in the worst of them.

And – importantly – they are the ones that give you energy,

I dedicate an entire chapter in the book to friendship. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have special people (including family members) as friends. Even through years and distance, I know they will be there for me and have my back, as I will for them.

Don’t take friendships for granted. Friendship requires nurturing and attention. Friends become even more important in our lives and we should take control of identifying those relationships and making sure they remain strong.

One final thought. We “know” a lot of people. There is a difference between familiarity, acquaintance, and friendship. I submit that friends must be a source of energy and enthusiasm. They must be the people that you never dread hearing from, but are excited when you do. While we can be familiar and acquainted with many people, the real friends in our lives will help propel us through the journey.

I’m going to identify one friend that I haven’t talked to in a while and just check in. I’d challenge you to do the same. It might just be the highlight of your week.

Quote of the Week:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

~ Martin Luther King,Jr.

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