In his blog post How to Steal Like an Artist and 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me – in which he discusses that “nothing is original” and “don’t wait until you know who you are to make things” and “write the book you want to read” – artist and writer Austin Kleon’s eighth tenant is “Be Nice. The World is a Small Town.” Austin says, “I’ll keep this short. There’s only one reason I’m here. I’m here to make friends.” Wow! This got me thinking!
Do you remember the thrill of making friends and meeting people when you first went to school or first ventured out of your house? Wasn’t meeting new people and making friends an amazing experience? When you’ve asked your child about his day, has he ever almost breathlessly said, “I made a new friend today!”? He is lit up with excitement! Somehow we can loose that excitement as we get older. I suggest we get it back!
Imagine the world if we all shared the philosophy that we are here to make friends. That doesn’t mean you are a doormat. It means you speak your truth. It means you are an assertive human being who values and respects others. It means you have the primary goals of creating deep connections with others and being in service. Imagine the world if we all shared that philosophy!
I encourage you to live this week – or this day or this hour – with the purpose of being here to make friends. Do this for the fun of it. Make that purpose – being here to make friends – your filter for everything you say and do and think. Make it your purpose with your co-workers, manager, drivers who share the road with you, dentist, your spouse and your children. See what a difference it makes.
In the meantime, I am ordering one of Austin’s “Here to Make Friends” t-shirts so new friends will see me coming!