The Many Gifts of Friendship
Welcome to The 5-Minute Recharge with one quote, three ideas, and a 5-minute challenge to supercharge your wellness.
In celebration of Acts of Friendship: 47 Ways to Recharge Your Life, Make Real Connections, and Deepen Your Relationships a new book from Lynne and friends Deb Mangolt and Julie Smethurst that will launch on February 3, 2020, this week's edition of The 5-Minute Recharge newsletter is devoted entirely to the power of friendship.
Instructions on How to Delight the Mind
“Nothing delights the mind so much as fond and loyal friendship. What a blessing it is to have hearts that are ready and willing to receive all your secrets in safety, with whom you are less afraid to share knowledge than keep it to yourself, whose conversation soothes your distress, whose advice helps you make up your mind, whose cheerfulness dissolves your sorrow, whose very appearance cheers you up!” ― Seneca, from On the Shortness of Life
#1 BETTER THAN SUDOKU A neurologist, psychologist, and professor emeritus at McGill University, Daniel Levitin has been studying what makes us sharper, happier, and wiser as we age. Levitin has discovered what numerous scientists who came before him have found: our relationships help us age happily, wisely, and well. Better than doing daily sudoku or crossword puzzles, the conversation that connection requires fires up our brains and keeps us mentally agile as we age. The personality traits that are most statistically correlated with successful aging are conscientiousness―being dependable and doing what you say you'll do―and openness to experience―trying new things and being open to new ideas―two traits that make for a terrific friend.
“When you're at the end of your life, lying on your deathbed, the research literature strongly predicts you won't be saying, 'I wish I'd spent more time on Facebook.' Instead, you'll probably be saying, 'I wish I'd spent more time with loved ones,' or 'I wish I'd done more to make a difference in the world.'” ― Daniel Levitin, from Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives
#2 LINKEDIN TO FRIENDSHIP You may be surprised to learn that Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn, considers friendship, not entrepreneurship, to be the true centre of his life. Friendship reveals a spiritual path to Hoffman, a way to evolve as a human, to discover who he is and who he should be. Reid's example, beautifully told in a recent episode of Meditative Story shows us how, through friendship with others, we can become better friends to ourselves. Could it be that the meaning of our lives is revealed to us through our relationships with other people?
“For me friendship isn't just a way to pass the time, or a tool. For me friendship is how I evolve into a better version of myself.”
― Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn
Shasta Nelson's Frientimacy Triangle
#3 A FRAMEWORK FOR FRIENDSHIP Given that connection is critical for our wellbeing, how can we improve the quality of our relationships, to feel mutually accepted, valued, and understood? In her book Frientimacy: How to Deepen Relationships for Lifelong Happiness (and her Frientimacy TED Talk) friendship expert Shasta Nelson gives us the three requirements of “frientimacy,” the intimacy we feel with our closest friends:
Positivity - our best relationships feel rewarding and satisfying through experiences of amusement, awe, gratitude, hope, inspiration, interest, joy, love, pride, and serenity. Positivity is the foundation of all successful relationships. We can't be positive all the time, but the ideal ratio of positive to negative should be in the vicinity of 5:1.
Consistency - when we are reliable and predictable with each other, we establish trust through consistency. Making time for each other and following through on our commitments creates a sense of safety, fertile soil that helps our relationships grow.
Vulnerability - When the relationship is based on a foundation of positivity and we show up for each other with consistency, we begin to feel comfortable revealing ourselves to each other, and allowing our lives to intertwine.
Although it's presented as a pyramid with a peak, frientimacy has no final destination. It's an ongoing process where positivity, consistency, and vulnerability are continuously interacting. Thinking about all our relationships along these three dimensions enables us to see where there may be gaps between where we are and where we want to be. It also gives us clues about what we can do to improve the quality of our relationships upon which so much of our wellbeing depends.
“No therapy, meditation practice, or journaling regimen can provide the place to practice building the emotional muscles of our best selves–only the people in our lives can gift us with that space. And as we embody more of those qualities, and feel greater support and cheering from those who know us well–we can rise up and make the contribution to this planet each of us is meant to make.” – Shasta Nelson
One 5-MINUTE RECHARGE CHALLENGE AN ACT OF FRIENDSHIP
“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” – Robert Waldinger
This week's 5-Minute Recharge challenge is to take a few minutes and think about a friend who changed you for the better. Now write a few sentences about how this friend helped you grow and pop it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first person to complete this challenge will receive an advance review copy of Acts of Friendship: 47 Ways to Recharge your Life, Make Real Connections and Deepen Your Relationships.
“Friends offer the gentle reassurance that we don’t have to let the past determine the future, and that it’s enough for us to become better than we are today, according to our own yardstick. We’ve helped each other understand that we don’t have to do or have the most, but that we can each become our best selves and have some fun along the way.” ― Lynne, Deb, and Julie
Wishing you many moments of connection in the week ahead, Lynne & Addie
If you have a friend who could use a good charge, please share our newsletter!