ISSUE 164 ISSN 1712-468

Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.

Aristotle, Greek Philosopher
384 BC – 322 BC

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This Week's Inspiration

The Gift of Friendship!

Friend: One attached to another by affection or esteem; acquaintance; one that is not hostile; a favored companion. Synonyms: Brotherhood, goodwill, fellowship, friendliness, kindliness

Aristotle had it right almost 2000 years ago. Friendship is foundational to a fulfilling and healthy life.

A couple of years ago, I was in the middle of some significant challenges. The way our friends rallied around to support us was both appreciated and humbling. Sometimes, in the past, I had not understood how significant those friendships were in our lives.

Friendships provide us with many benefits.

  • One study conducted by Dr. Jan Yager suggested we could extend our life by 10 years simply by having one close friend.
  • Research by the Mayo Clinic documented several benefits, including these.
    • Increased sense of belonging and purpose
    • Reduced stress
    • Enhanced levels of happiness
    • Improved capacity to cope with life’s difficult events
    • Better lifestyle choices
  • Harvard research recently established that women with breast cancer who do not have a friendship network are 4 times more likely to die from the disease than those with 10 or more close friends.
  • The research also confirmed that having a friendship network lowers blood pressure, reduces depression, and protects against dementia.
  • Close friendships have been cited as more beneficial than sufficient sleep and moderate exercise—who would have thought that?

BEING a friend infers connection and motion. I have several friends—but are they active friendships?

Recently, I called one of my friends. As is typical with many of us today, it had been some time since we had talked or been together. One comment that came out of our conversation was that no matter how infrequently we connect, we still consider each other good friends. We confirmed we had a low-maintenance friendship. (Isn’t that an oxymoron?!)

Is that enough? In our busy-ness, are we missing out on many of the benefits we could have from enjoying active friendships?

What about you?

Are you satisfied with your friendships, including your contribution to them? The research proves there are great benefits to receiving and to giving friendship.

Supporting good old-fashioned common sense, current research is proving that friendships matter. The research suggests that friendships have the most benefit when we have at least a weekly connection of over an hour with our friendship network. That’s a minimum!

Rather than making some type of New Year’s resolution about this, consider that the most meaningful friendships happen only when we are intentional. Our lives are almost always a reflection of our choices—no more; no less.

Not only do friendships enrich our lives, they extend our lives, too.

I’ve decided to extend my life expectancy intentionally by BEING a friend!

How about you?

Consider the Action Steps below.

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This Week's Action Steps

The Gift of Friendship!

  1. How many real friends do you have?

  2. Are you happy with your level of friendships? If not, think of 3 ways to increase your BEING a better friend to others.

  3. Be proactive. Give people a call. Suggest options and possibilities for getting together.

  4. Make the process fun and enjoyable, not burdensome.

  5. Be aware. When you are in the moment of enjoying a special time with a friend, observe how that is making you feel; sense the good health and balance the experience is bringing you.

  6. As a challenge, see how many people’s lives you can touch this week, month, and year by BEING their friend.

  7. As a fun exercise, you can have you and your friends complete 2 of CRG’s proven assessments.
  8. To help you understand your tendencies and your friends’ motivations, read Why Aren’t You More Like Me?

  9. Friendship is a gift, so treat it like one. People do not usually become friends by accident. Be intentional—call, visit, text, tweet, email, and/or write to reach out and touch someone. By doing that, you’ll live longer!

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose.

Ken Keis For information on CRG Resources, please visit
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