Choosing Your Friends Wisely: Shared Futures Not Shared Pasts
It can be difficult to know who to spend time with. Personally, I’ve felt ebbs and flows, conflicts, etc. Friends change over time and so do our goals and ambitions. In general, we should do our best to network and maintain connections but every choice has some opportunity cost.
One simple phrase has helped me and might help you make decisions: Focus on shared futures not shared pasts.
Using this has helped me a lot because it helps me avoid the sunk cost fallacy of investing a lot in relationships which are no longer headed in the same direction. It’s not easy, but it makes a lot of sense.
Now what does this mean? It means spending more time with people who have similar future goals or who have already walked the path you’re looking to walk. For example, if you want to slow down your drinking – spending time with your drinking buddies isn’t going to help. It makes more sense to spend more time with people who have already given up drinking or never did it in the first place – their futures are headed in the same direction.
Now I want to make it clear you don’t have to completely end relationships just because someone is headed in a different direction. But there can be times in life where we start feeling tensions in our relationships, wonder about who we’re spending time with, and where we’re heading. This small consideration can help clarify which direction to head.
1. Do your current close friendships have shared futures?
2. Are you clinging onto any relationships simply because of a shared past?
3. Where might you find more people with a shared future?
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