What Makes A Good Friend?

Friendship is something that everyone deals with. Even if you don’t have many — or any — friends, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you look for in a friend, even if only subconsciously.

There are many characteristics that someone might have in order to be considered a friend. Loyalty, perhaps. Being a good listener. Fun, thoughtful, networked, outgoing, goofy, shared interests, shared experiences, smart, a good conversationalist.

Of all the possible traits that a friend might have, which one is most important to you?

What makes a good friend?

To help uncover what’s important to you regarding friendship, think about these questions:

  • If you think about the close friends you have, is there some trait that they have in common?
  • What, if anything, does what you look for in a friend have to do with your experiences and your past?
  • If you’ve had a friendship come to an end, was there something lacking that caused it to fail?

Related questions: Why do we care what strangers think of us? What makes a community? Who is the most important person in your life? Who inspires you?

What Do You Revere?

The positive emotions we associate with the people or things in our lives can vary quite drastically. We might feel love; we might feel fondness. Desire, kinship, envy, even respect. Beyond all of those feelings, however, lies a deep and powerful feeling of admiration bordering on worship: reverence.

The things we revere can tell us a lot about ourselves, about what we value and who we want to be.

For example, if your reverence is to a deity, you might be a deeply religious person, which can shape your social circle and your views on others. If you revere an idea, like equality, that might influence your political views and actions. Those with reverence for money might seek out high-paying careers.

It might seem illogical, but you can even revere irreverence. Someone who is an iconoclast, who bristles at authority or expectations of normality, irreverence may be held up above all else.

What do you revere?

To figure this out, you might think about what you have been drawn to your entire life. What books you read, what topics of conversation come up again and again. Think about what ideas resonate with you.

Do you think you share this with the people you spend time with, either your family, your friends, or your co-workers? How important is it that you revere the same things as the people around you? How important is it to find a group of people who revere the same things as you?

Related questions: What is important? Why is love important? What humbles you? How important is respect?

What Are You Doing To Make The World A Better Place?

It’s not a stretch to say that each one of wants to live in a better world. We want to see an improvement to our current circumstance.

Perhaps that means better for you personally, with a better job or a better house. Maybe you want better for your family and loved ones. Or maybe you hope for a better world for humanity in general, with longer life spans and better overall health.

However, things don’t get better unless someone drives that improvement. You can hope that you are the beneficiary of the work of someone else, but to see change, positive change, in your life you have to work at it.

Maybe that means that you need to ask your boss for a raise. Or perhaps you attend a march for a cause you believe in. You might attend a city council meeting, or donate money to a charity.

There are lots of ways to affect change, but first you need to know what improvement you want to see. Then you must take some action if you really want things to get better. Be the change you want to see in the world.

So what do you do? What actions do you take, what conversations are you a part of, what organizations do you join? What do you do to make the world a better place?

Related questions: How can we turn ideas into actions? What are our responsibilities to others? How do you define success? What are you optimistic about? Is it a cruel world?

What Is The Value Of Inefficiency?

Everyone wants to be productive. Our jobs demand it, our busy lives require it, and our brains crave constant stimulation. But is there a value to wasting time? Of inefficiency?

Generally, different people use different methods to maximize their time spent on things. To-do lists. Productivity software. Comprehensive calendars.

If we feel overworked, that might stress us out, so our solution is to try and maximize our daily routine. Perhaps you can shave a few minutes off of making breakfast. Showering at the gym might save some time. Listening to audio books or podcasts during your commute allows you to make better use of wasted time.

However, there is some value to unstructured time. Having a tightly-packed schedule where every minute is accounted for is subject to disruption. An unexpected event can throw an entire day into chaos.

Beyond that, there is some indication that proper functioning of the brain requires some down time. After all, what is our need for sleep if it is not inefficient? For roughly eight hours each night we lie still in the dark, as our brains, through dreams, process events from the day or worries we might have. That’s not very good use of time!

Our higher-level, strategic thinking is not something that can be done while running errands or performing routine tasks. For that, you need to devote time to thinking. And sitting and thinking doesn’t appear, from the outside, to be very productive.

In addition, people need to have some time that is spent just relaxing. Just as a muscle can only work for so long before it needs to rest, our brains need breaks occasionally to function properly.

What is the proper balance between thinking and doing? Between productivity and relaxation? What is the value of inefficiency?

Related questions: Why do people like games? How important is the repetition in our lives? How do you set priorities? Are we too busy?