A Friend that Provokes is A Friend Indeed

There are matters of social life that we have to accommodate between our professional and “me” times. No matter how many other priorities I have, finding people that inspire and challenge me is always at the top of my list.

It is crucial to have a great mix of people in our lives. We can learn integrity, experience, courage, perseverance and confidence. Although I have many acquaintances, there are few that I consider best friends – those that push me to go beyond my comfort zone.

I have best friends who run several successful multinational corporations, leading lavish lifestyles and flying around in business jets. I have also my other best friends who struggle to make ends meet but retain admirable life values and goals. These great personalities positively influence my life and encourage me to be progressive.

Many people in Ethiopia today seem to me to be disillusioned. This has much to do with the disappointment over politics, which easily turns off many, and uncertainty about the rapidly changing socio-political life of the country.

It is quite common to find people giving too much attention to trivial things that should deserve no second thought. But when asked, people are audacious enough to say that they do not have much going on in their life to focus on. This may seem a minute detail, but it is a significant problem we face as a nation.

It goes without saying that the environment we choose affects who we perceive ourselves to be and the way we behave as individuals and as collectives. We all need family, friends and mentors in our lives, people we turn to for advice and compassion. It then follows that finding those important people who impact our lives in a meaningful way is perhaps the most valuable use of our time and energy.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, once said.

It is true. Our life is in fact created by our daily routine and whom we spend it with. We always wait for something transformative to happen that will change our lives. But we are held back by the things we are not willing to recognise and improve, friends that fail to challenge us and do not mind spending the day exploring restaurants with us.

Success does not grow on trees – lifelong fulfillment ought be earned through the choices we make and how we manage our life struggles. Building a career requires many hours at the office and showing one’s value to climb the corporate ladder. Advancing in education requires suffering sleepless nights spent studying. And personal development happens when we are inquisitive and spend time with people that have great personalities.

When asked about what they want out of life, many people have a common answer, which is to be happy and to have a great life. Everybody enjoys what feels good, such as making millions and achieving fame, respect and admiration.

But happiness lies in the acceptance and active engagement of that undesirable life experience, not the avoidance of it. People want to start their own business but are not willing to go through the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures and the long hours devoted to something that may ultimately not make a profit. Life is not simple.

However, what most do not realize is life is also about strategically choosing the good network of people as well as the pain and the struggles we want to go through to achieve something. Nothing comes easy in life.

And, in an eccentric way, this is liberating. What we choose to struggle for comes with a more significant determinant of how our lives will turn out.

Unfortunately, people usually ignore realities. Emotional resilience, creating a relevant social life, inquisitiveness and reading are traits that society may hold in high regard but its members seldom practice. Most of us do not like to learn from anyone who may disagree with us. The more exposed to opposing viewpoints and challenges we are, the more we seem to get upset that those other viewpoints exist.

But to advance professionally and develop personally, we ought to be able to interact with people who can complement our learning process. Certainly, there are factors in life outside our control. However, improving on those things that we have the power to change is a great skill. It will give us greater focus on the things we want to do in our lives.

By Eden Sahle
Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law and international economic law. She can be reached at edensah2000@gmail.com.

Published on Oct 27,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 965]



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