Think back as far as you can remember, how many friends through the years have you made and how many have you grown apart from? I would think it quite a few. As we take our journey through life creating different paths for ourselves, we will meet like-minded people and grow apart from old friends while making new ones. It’s a natural part of life, we all grow as individuals and not all our friends will take the same paths as we do or think in the same way. Not saying that your closest friends will no longer be that, but you will find that you spend a lot less time together.
I am sure you have noticed this as well, but think all the way back to pre-school, didn’t the kids that loved Lagos play together, and the kids that enjoyed reading read next to each other, didn’t all the jocks in high school hang out with each other, and the stoner as well. Look at a celebrity like Lebron James, his five closest friends are all either NBA players or ex-teammates from high school that also played college ball and work for him as part of his management team. Having friends traveling similar paths is vital to your growth. They will push you as you push them to the next destination in life.
Think of it in the context of a gym buddy, both of you have a goal of losing weight or gaining muscle. Through friendly and natural competition, you push each other. There will be days your buddy is going to the gym and you don’t want to, but you force yourself too because they went. If you want to go to the gym but you’re hanging out with only friends that like to party all the time how likely are you to reach your fitness goals. Or say you want to be an entrepreneur, you should be around other entrepreneurs. Not only does it help to have them there to throw ideas off of, but you become each other’s support systems and the friendly competition amongst friends helps push you in a positive direction. If all your friends are content with a 9 to 5 job and going to happy hour every time, how likely are you to stick to following through?
I am not saying to dump all your friends because you all chose different paths in life, what I am trying to get at is that most of your friends will ultimately grow as you do. Some will follow your path and others will go in a completely different direction, and they will meet like-minded friends of their own, and over the years you will naturally grow apart. I have 4 close friends in my life that I consider being family, and we all went separate directions in life. One works in investments and started a family, another became an electrician and lives at home, another travels the world, and the last one is lost in and out of trouble ever since I can remember.
While we all went our separate ways and made other friends on the path we are on, we still consider ourselves best of friends. We don’t hang out as often, finding the time maybe once or twice a month, but the memories and bond we made are still strong. And with the power of social media, we stay up to date on each other’s lives. You’ll never get rid of good friends, they will always be there, but that doesn’t mean you must stunt your growth because you’re not open to making friends headed on the same path as you. At the end of the day we are all individuals, we learn and grow through experience and the people we associate with on a day to day basis. Your old friends will always be your friends, but allow yourself the chance to move forward, make new friends on the path you’re headed so you can grow.