Do you choose your people? Or do you allow people to choose you? I’m talking about your friends, business partners, and other key relationships. The people you allow into your space, your life, and your tribe (social circle).
When I was a child I did choose my people. I just picked those who I liked being around and avoided those who I didn’t. Simple. Then as social pressures arose in my teens and twenties, I was more concerned with quantity than quality.
During these years I let other people do the choosing while I sat back and let it happen. I do recall, however, feeling like I was wasting time hanging out with people who were talking about or doing things of zero importance. Later, I felt similarly while sitting in ridiculously long, pointless meetings while I was a corporate soldier.
Where I got into real trouble was in letting girls and later women choose me as their boyfriend. This led to lots of conflict, painful breakups (article), and wasted time. Eventually, I figured out the answer with partner selection: Get smart about identifying the qualities, attributes, and characteristics I “must have” and “must not have” in a romantic relationship. This led me to develop a comprehensive system for accomplishing this task. I eventually made it the central feature in a book I wrote entitled, Finding the One Who’s Right (information).
Sometime after I published that book it came to me that a similar system would be very useful in choosing friends, business partners, and more.
Here’s what I came up with. Write all the qualities, attributes, and characteristics that I “must have” and “must not have” in a person “I choose” to be a friend.
Here are a few of my “must haves.”
- Good listener
- Fitness focused
- Personal development enthusiast
- And so on…
Here are a few of my “must not haves.”
- Poor listener
- And so on…
Here are a few of my criteria that have no bearing on whether I choose them as a friend or not. In other words, these make no difference. Their…
- Ethnicity (article)
You might think that you’re already doing these things. But are you? And to what extent? Is your list of criteria complete? I have found that the more specific and comprehensive your lists of “must haves” and “must not haves” are, the greater the chance of high compatibility, productivity, and enjoyment.
Doing this work implants your definitive criteria for friendships in your subconscious mind, which is your internal navigation system. It then will lead you to friendships that are best for you. It will also attract people who are compatible with you. And repeal those who are not. Are you connecting with me on this?
I apply these criteria to all relationships including family and relatives. If a person has too many “must not haves” and few if any “must haves” I do not invest my time with them no matter who they are. Obligatory relationships, events, and traditions are lame. Why put yourself in situations that result in discomfort, dissatisfaction, and wasted time?
My first act in the area of absurd relationship obligations was to give up the contrived tradition of gift giving (article). I did this long ago and it has been very liberating.
In another area, I applied a similar formula when I created a unique singles organization (article). I did it by carefully defining its vision and philosophy in advance. This set the foundation for the type of members it attracted, the atmosphere at events, and its reputation in the community. It worked very well.
Choose your people, assemble your tribe, and feel the joy.