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Part 1: Introduction
In 2014 I quit my job my job at McKinsey, sold all my stuff and set out to travel the world.
It was only meant to be a 6-month trip but, 130+ countries, 7 continents and 6 years later, I’m writing this update from Canggu in Bali, nearly 12,500 km away from London so… I guess no plan survives first contact with reality. 😅
Now, in the last 6 years, I’ve seen some weird things, been to some crazy places and had my fair share of adventures.
But in the next few updates, I thought I’d talk about something I’ve never talked about on The Art of Living. Something a bit closer to home.
I thought I’d talk about friendship.
Specifically, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about making old friendships thrive, helping new friendships flourish and being the best friend you possibly can be.
Because, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being “away” for so long, it’s the importance of investing in your tribe – in the people who love, inspire and support you – no matter how far away they may be.
And if there’s one thing that surprised me, it’s that it took travelling halfway across the planet to realise how badly and haphazardly I’d been doing that, right up til that point in my life.
Now, for the record, I’m no social recluse. I’ve spent years working in sales. I love people. I love networking. One of my favourite parts of travelling are the hundreds of locals, wanderers and colourful characters you brush shoulders with every week.
But it wasn’t until I left home that I realised how many great relationships I’d been taking for granted, how many toxic relationships I’d become trapped in and how many empty relationships I’d fallen into without ever really thinking about it.
It took thousands of kilometres of perspective to get me thinking proactively about the who, why and how of my friends.
Result? It’s taken years of refining, but these days I’m actually closer to my family and friends than when I lived in the UK. My friendships are more selective, more positive and more rewarding than they were before I left. And most importantly, I’m a better, more thoughtful, more intentional friend than I ever was when my loved ones lived under an hour way (or even just down the street).
And the best part? It all comes down to a simple, repeatable framework ANYONE can use to transform the relationships in their lives.
In the same way it’s possible to break fundamental productivity skills down into 10 simple steps in TAoL’s Ultimate Productivity Primer…
In the same way it’s possible to break life down into 8 core areas and 5 nested time horizons in TAoL’s TRACKTION Masterclass…
It’s possible to break friendship down into a few simple ideas, frameworks and systems that increase the joy you give to and get from the people you care about.
And it’s that system that I want to formalise and share with you over the course of the next handful of updates. 🙌
Sound good? Alright, awesome.
Look out for my next update where I’ll break out the first step in how to make friends that’ll last you a lifetime…
And until then, be generous, have a great start to your week and go well.
Part 2: Core Theory
So, yesterday I promised to spend the next handful of updates showing you how I think about friendship…
But before we get into some action steps, let’s quickly map out the framework that underlies the whole system.
I call it “Core Theory“. And it basically looks something like this:
Let me explain….
Like all puzzles, friendship becomes easier to think about if we break it down first.
And to do that, I like to split my relationships into 5 levels of intimacy:
- Family – The last people left standing, even if you lose everything and everyone else (often but not necessarily related to you);
- Inner Core – Your best friends;
- Middle Core – Your good friends;
- Outer Core – Other friends you stay actively in touch with; and
- Core-Bit – People who float in and out of your life (e.g., colleagues, community members, passing acquaintances).
Now, if you’re anything like me when I started thinking clearly about friendship, there’s a good chance your core is a mess.
Common problems (aside from not having a framework) include:
- Having no clear idea what your core currently looks like;
- Having no clear vision of what your core would look like ideally;
- Dealing with toxic and/or low-value squatters;
- Having big gaps at and/or imbalances between each of the levels;
- Not knowing how to fill out and balance those gaps; and
- Not systematically nourishing your high-value connections.
If any of those issues sounds familiar – don’t worry. You’re not alone
The truth is, most of us are more deliberate about what takeout to order or movies to watch than we are about our most important relationships.
Partly because nobody teaches this stuff in school or at home or at work. But mostly because there’s a common misconception that being born able to do something makes us naturally and automatically good at it.
Which is both wrong AND crazy.
Because (a) from languages, to learning, to problem solving, to running, to relationship building – there is almost nothing about our basic skill sets that cannot be vastly and easily improved.
And because (b) good relationships aren’t just nice to have… they’re game changing. In fact, some people might argue that they ARE the whole point of the game; that the key measure of a life fully lived is the number of people you’ve gathered who you love and who love you in return when the reaper comes knocking.
Even if that’s not your perspective, I can promise you this – if you have any interest in leading a full, happy and meaningful life; and if you acknowledge that we naturally become more like the people we spend the most time with, then that kind of negligence simply doesn’t make sense.
This is one problem it makes sense to fix.
Still with me? Alright, awesome.
Let’s leave it at that for today.
That’s the framework we’ll work with. Those are the problems we’ll tackle. Those are the stakes on the table.
Look out for tomorrow’s email where we’ll get straight into some action steps in the next part of our series on friendship.
And until then, stay curious, be awesome and go well.
Part 3: Taking Stock
There’s nothing like leaving a country to rapidly simplify life.
For starters, you get rid of your stuff. Which is the moment you realise how little you actually need (and how much lighter life feels without it).
For seconds, you tie up loose ends. You clear up or give up on all those little should, could, have and must dos which have amassed like thick silt on your psyche.
But something I wasn’t expecting when I packed up 6 years ago was the impact it would have on my relationships. Because, as soon as I left the UK, I lost touch, almost instantly, with nearly all of my usual acquaintances.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d expected something similar. But the stillness was still faintly unnerving. It felt kinda like Nyepi, here in Bali – an annual celebration when the whole island goes silent for 24 hours. They shut off the lights, close down the internet and ban people and cars from the roads. The quiet is magical but it’s not until everything stops that you realise how conditioned you’ve become the habitual hum of humanity.
And yet, what surprised me the most wasn’t how many people I lost touch with. It was who I lost touch with. It was the bright buddies who flickered away into nothingness. It was the family members I’d too often overlooked. It was the quiet companions who turned out to be my most proactive and loyal of friends.
And as the dust settled, I became overwhelmingly aware of one thing. I realised how little I’d thought about who really loved me and why. Not to mention who, why and how I’d loved (and failed to love) other people in return.
So, I decided to do something about it.
And because I’m a bit of a nerd, and because I love making lists, the first thing I did was to sit down and start mapping things out…
First, I scrolled through my contacts and wrote down everyone who I was, wanted or felt obligated to stay in contact with.
Next, I wrote headings 5 headings on a new sheet of paper:
- Best friends – My Inner core;
- Good friends – My middle core;
- Stay-in-touch – My outer core; and
- Everyone Else – My core-bit.
And finally, I re-wrote the names of each person on my short list of contacts under one of those headings.
Result? Instant clarity.
Just writing this stuff down helped me start thinking about friendship in new ways.
I realised how many people hadn’t made my list and how much time and space I’d unlock by intentionally letting them go. I realised some people on my list shouldn’t be there (and I needed to do something about that). I realised there were big gaps which I needed to fill and rebalance. I realised I wasn’t doing a good job of being a great friend to the people who were on there already. I realised I wasn’t even sure what my ideal friendships and friend list would look like.
Now, we’ll talk more about each of those steps in our upcoming updates but what I want you to take away from this story is this…
That the first step to being more intentional about friendship isn’t difficult. It doesn’t start with difficult conversations or big gestures or tough decisions.
The first step in being more intentional about friendship is just to get clear on who your friends are, right now.
And I don’t just mean in your head.
I mean by writing them down.
I mean out on paper, where you can see the big gaps and black sheep and potential opportunities in all their unmissable glory.
The first step is mastering friendship is to:
- Imagine you were leaving the country;
- Open up your contacts on your phone;
- Write down a list of people you’d want or have to stay in contact with;
- Allocate each of those people to one of the 5 levels of intimacy; and
- Ask yourself what your gut tells you about what that means and about what you need to do next.
I won’t give you the answers quite yet (we’ll get to those in the next handful of updates). But I will ask you not to let this opportunity slip through your fingers.
Take 10 minutes now to run through this exercise.
Then COMMENT BELOW and tell me about your experience. What did you learn? What surprised you? Where are your gaps? What instant steps will you take?
Take a few moments to think through and tell me your answers. It’ll help you get clear. It’ll unlock new ideas. It’ll make you much much more likely to take action.
Then look out for my update tomorrow where I’ll show you a few more next steps.
Part 4: Your Ideal Friend
So, last week I started explaining the quick, easy framework I use to think about friendship; the one that’s helped me forge amazing relationships and become a much better friend in the last 5 – 6 years.
So, do you remember the quick 5-step process we used to map out our CURRENT friendships (our core) across 5 different levels of intimacy in part 3?
And did you take 10-minutes to run through those quick, simple steps?
You did? OK, awesome.
Because today, I want to talk to you about IDEAL friendships. If our last update was about surveying point A (where we are now) then this one is about charting point B (where we want to end up).
You see, after I’d mapped out my own core, I had to face two tricky questions:
- Who’s in my core right now that probably shouldn’t be? and
- Who should I fill all these gaps with? (And how?)
And the truth is, I had no idea how to answer them.
I mean, sure, I could just go with my gut. But if my gut was so good at big-picture core management, then I wouldn’t be writing this in the first place.
There had to be a smarter solution.
So here’s what I tried out instead…
First, I sat down and spent an hour brainstorming a LONG list of ALL the qualities that I’d want in my ideal friends.
I looked at my current friends and family as well as the heroes in my life and thought about why they inspired me. I ran through lists of character traits. I thought about the kind of person I want to become.
Next, I narrowed that thinking down to a shortlist of the 7 most important traits that I’d want to find in my friendships. I decided to fill my core with people who…
- Share my values;
- Have common goals;
- Compensate my weakness;
- Inspire and encourage me;
- Share my interests/lifestyle;
- Have bright, curious minds; and
- Are proactive organisers.
And finally, I used that list of core values to help me answer our two questions; to help guide my core from point A to point B.
Now, I’ll show you EXACTLY how I worked through that final step in our upcoming updates (including how I worked through some common, thorny obstacles).
But right now, what I’d like you to take away from THIS update is this…
It is almost impossible to achieve ANYTHING in life until you know:
- Where you are now (point A); and
- Where you’d like to be (point B).
That’s as true of your friendships as it is of any other goal you’re pursuing.
If you don’t know where you are now and you don’t know where you’re going then you’re basically destined to fail. If you just put your head down and charge about randomly then the odds of you ending up where you want to be; the chances of you fulfilling your potential become pretty much zero.
And as we’ve already discussed, our relationships are way too important to our quality (and quantity) of life to let that happen.
There’s no way we’re going to settle for random.
So, here’s what you need to do next…
- Make time to brainstorm ALL the qualities you’d look for in an ideal friend – don’t stop until you’ve painted a really clear picture;
- Narrow and synthesise that list into no more than 7 non-negotiable qualities you’ll look for in your friendships; and
- Think about how you might use those to evaluate your existing friendships as well as how to start making new ones.
DON’T skip straight to step 2 without going through step 1. The trick here is to work your way through to simplicity on the other side of complexity.
DON’T just take my list and be done with it. You may well end up with something very similar, but the main value in the shortlist is how you got there.
DON’T worry if you get stuck on step 3. We’ll get into that, step-by-step shortly.
DO block out some time now to run through this exercise.
DO COMMENT BELOW and let me know what traits you end up with.
DO look out for tomorrow’s update where I’ll be talking about why, what and how to evaluate your current core against your newly clarified point B.
And until then, be awesome, be a great friend and go well.
Part 5: Mind the Gap
So, yesterday I showed you a simple 3-step process to clarify EXACTLY what ideal friendship means to you AND shared the 7 core traits that I look for in my friends.
And in the last 24 hours I’ve received TONs of great emails, filled with your reflections and core trait lists, in return.
Which is awesome.
Because, as expected, it turns out that almost everyone has a slightly different perspective on ideal friendship.
Some folks prioritise values like discipline, kindness and generosity. Some value shared history. Some go out of their way to make friends with conflicting points of view (← super smart tip from my aunt Ali 🙌).
And the best part is that ALL of those perspectives are correct. Because the thing is, there is no right answer. There is only the right answer for you. Right now. And even that answer will change over time.
But what’s most important and special about the steps you’ve taken so far is that you have some kind of answer at all.
You’ve thought proactively about who you’re current friends are AND what kind of people you ideally want around you. You’ve made it possible to compare point A with point B. Which makes it MUCH easier to work out how to close down the gaps.
But before that, we need to work out where the gaps even are.
And for that, you’ll need to follow 6 simple steps. You’ll need to:
- Grab a blank sheet of paper;
- Re-write your actual friend list from part 3 as rows of a table;
- Re-write your ideal traits list from part 4 as columns of the table;
- Put a tick in every box where a friend has a trait you’ve identified;
- Calculate the total number of ticks for each trait and friend; and
- Think about what that means for next steps.
Your table will have more rows and columns than this one, but here’s a 3 by 3 example to show you exactly what I mean…
Simple, right? And yet this process is incredibly powerful.
Because it’s only once once we’ve plotted a map of our current friends and ideal friendships out on paper that we’re able to do this…
We’re able to work out which core traits are and aren’t well represented.
We’re able to work out which friendships are and aren’t pulling their weight.
We’re able to start minding our gaps.
And it’s only at that point; it’s only when we know what the journey looks like from point A to point B that we’re able to plan our next steps.
Let’s leave it at that for today.
If you haven’t run through the homework from the last few parts of this series, then now’s a great time to catch up. We’re about to transition from diagnose (work out what could be better) to design and deliver (work out what to do about it) and this table will form the foundation for what’s coming up.
If you have run through the homework (including today’s) then now’s a great time to think for yourself about what you’d do next.
And in either case I’ll see you back here tomorrow where we’ll start talking about my favourite part of this process. We’ll discuss the who and the how of new friendships. We’ll start the process of changing your life.
Look out for tomorrow’s update.
And until then, take action, think clearly and go well.
Part 6: Pulling Weeds
I fell in with a bad group of friends in my second year at college. Not rotten bad. We were just lost, anxious kids who spent too much time drinking and partying, even though it didn’t make us happy and even though we didn’t really like each other.
Looking back, it was sad times. My grades dropped. I lost interest in hobbies. I neglected the wrong people. I was a crappy person to hang out with.
And yet it wasn’t till February 2008 that I realised how bad things really were.
Because despite what I now know, at the time I was feeling pretty popular. The business I’d started a year earlier had a monopoly on the university night life. I was a VIP at all the big student events. According to one student paper I was “Oxford’s most eligible bachelor”. I felt like a pretty big cheese. 🧀
And so you can imagine what a blow it was to my ego when I invited 12 people I’d been spending lots of time with to a dinner for my 20th birthday and only ONE of those people actually came.
ONE person. 😱
I still get sweaty palms when I think about sitting alone at that big empty table as the manager comes over to ask after the rest of the group. 🙈
Now, at the time I felt sad, foolish and angry. I swore my one friend to secrecy (love you Gwenny) and the first time I’ve ever shared that story is today.
But these days I’m very grateful for that lesson in friendship and humility.
Because it taught me three valuable things…
It taught me that I clearly wasn’t as wonderful as I thought I was.
It taught me that quality ALWAYS beats quantity when it comes to your friends.
And it taught me the difference between true friendship and two strangers just using each other out of convenience to comfort or scratch at an itch.
Anyhow, I sat down after that evening and realised things needed to change.
So here’s what I decided to do next…
First, I went through all my contacts and Facebook friends and for each person, I asked two simple questions:
- “Would I get into this friendship again, knowing what I now know?” and
- “Is this friendship a ‘Hell yes!’?“
(Note: I didn’t have my list of ideal core traits at the time but I still repeat this exercise every 6 months and it’s been a super valuable tool to help me sense check those question ever since.)
Next, whenever I answered “Yes” to both questions I wrote that person’s name down on a sheet of paper (back in 2008, I think there were two people on the list).
And finally, I slowly stopped making new plans with, getting updates from, sending new messages to, or spending more time than I had to with everyone else.
Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go full hermit. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing. I wasn’t rude. I didn’t burn bridges. I still did what I needed to for my business. And, if I had a good reason, I still turned up to the occasional event.
But what I did do, was just to gradually and deliberately stop nourishing weeds in my flower bed. I focussed on the roses instead.
And you know what?
It was pretty darn scary and depressing.
Within a few months my whole life felt like my 20th birthday. It was astonishing, when I stopped making it easy, how fast people stopped calling to play.
But just as I was starting to question my sanity; just as I was wondering if I hadn’t made a terrible mistake, I started to notice something magical…
Because instead of wasting my time, space and energy on toxic and empty relationships I suddenly found myself with more time for everything else. And while it didn’t happen overnight, the extra thought and effort I invested in the few friends who were left was slowly helping those relationships flourish.
Even more amazingly, my grades improved. I started playing sports again. I felt happier and healthier than I had done in years. And all those things made it easier and easier to meet and to cultivate new friends.
Now, your current situation may not be quite as extreme as my little university drama but here’s the thing, I’d be willing to bet excellent money that you have your own share of weeds in your life; your own relationships at work, school, online or in your local community that you keep feeding despite them only getting in your way.
And though those little coffees and catch ups and galas and dinners and other interactions may feel like victimless crimes… they add up… and that matters.
Because time is a zero-sum game.
Every minute you spend nourishing a relationship that’s a weed is a minute you won’t spend looking for or nourishing a rose.
So here’s what you need to do next:
- Grab your table of friends and ideal qualities from part 4 of this series;
- Go down the list of people in your core and ask of each one:
- “Would I get into this friendship again, knowing what I now know?” and
- “Is this friendship a ‘Hell yes!’?“; and
- Cross out anyone you find on that list who isn’t “Yes“, “Yes“.
You don’t have to tell them about it. You don’t have to be impolite. You don’t have to unfriend them. You don’t have to start ghosting their messages.
But for your sake, and theirs, you do need to stop actively investing in toxic or redundant relationships. You need to stop or see less of those people if you want to start seeing or see more of new ones. You need to reclaim your time, space and energy so you can invest it in friendships that are great.
Not sure where or how to find those?
No worries, we’ll get into exactly how to make new and strengthen old friendships in the next couple of updates.
Run through this exercise for now, hit reply and let me know how it you feel about it, look out for my next update tomorrow.
And until next time, be awesome, be picky and go well.
Part 7: Planting Seeds
So yesterday, we talked about why, what and how to step back from empty and toxic relationships so you can start making room for the great ones.
We talked about how to pull weeds. 🌱
Today, I want to get started on a simple framework ANYONE can use to meet and make new friends quickly and easily.
Let’s talk about planting new seeds. 🌷
The framework has 4 simple parts:
- Who – Who are they?
- Where – Where do they hang out?
- What – What’s the best way to make friends? and
- You – Would you choose to be friends with you?
Ready to get to it? Alright, awesome.
We’ve got a ton of content to get through (hopefully I can fit it all in this update) so let’s just roll up our sleeves and dive in…
1. Who are they?
The first step in making new friends is to work out what new friends you need.
The good news? If you followed parts 4, 5 and 6 of this series then you’ve already done most of the work. But there’s always room for improvement.
So here’s what you need to do next…
First, grab some paper (or open a new digital note) and set a timer for 15 minutes.
Second, take a look at your final table of current friends vs. ideal traits (see part 5) and copy any traits that aren’t well represented (plus any “must-have” core traits) to the top of your new page.
Finally, use those traits as a starting point to paint the portrait of an ideal friend.
The more detail the better:
- What’s their name?
- How old are they?
- What gender are they?
- What marital status?
- How many kids do they have?
- Where do they live?
- How much do they earn?
- How educated are they?
- What are their goals right now?
- What are their values?
- What do they look like?
- How do they dress?
Don’t stop just because I’ve run out of questions. Keep going until you run out of time. Paint as clear a portrait of your ideal buddy as possible. Repeat the process as many times as you need if you need more than one kind of new friend.
This might feel silly but it’s an incredibly valuable exercise. It’s kinda like holding a clue up to the nose of a bloodhound. Except the clue is the portrait your painting and the bloodhound is your brain.
Will you ever meet this exact person in real life? Possibly not.
But will you be much more likely to quickly spot someone who’s 80% of the way there once you know what you’re looking for? You betcha.
And it’s also going to help you work out…
2. Where do they hang out?
Making friends is a numbers game. And the best way to stack the odds in your favour isn’t just to play the game hundreds of times. It’s to use loaded dice.
What’s the best way to do that? The answer is to spend LOTS of time hanging out in places where you can meet LOTS of people who are just like your ideal friend.
To do so, take a look at the portrait you painted in the previous step and ask:
- What kind of events does this person go to?
- What communities do they participate in?
- What charities do they volunteer for?
- What clubs or societies are they part of?
- What sports are they playing?
- What training programmes are they joining?
- What hobbies do they enjoy?
- What schools do they (or their kids) go to?
- What companies do they work for etc…?
- Where is your ideal friend hanging out?
Got a clear picture? Alright, super.
Now go hang out in those places too.
Wanna know where my culture loving mama met her dashing, art-critic, sommelier partner? At a super niche classical music recital. Not a dating website or bar.
Wanna know where I met my travel-loving, digital nomad, fiancée and best friend? At a salsa class in Medellin in Colombia. Not London or Tinder.
Wanna know where I met all my other close friends? In places or doing activities, face-to-face, with built in icebreakers or some kind of need to use team work.
What’s the moral? If you want to meet interesting people, go and do interesting things. If you want to max out the odds of meeting your ideal friend, go hang out in the same places and do the same things as they do.
Don’t sit at home expecting friendship to fall in your lap. Don’t hang out in spots choked with weeds, where the only common denominator is loneliness.
Get the WHO right, then the WHERE…
THEN start worrying about…
3. What’s the best way to make friends?
For the best guide I know on how to get people to like you, there’s no better primer than Dale Carnegie’s wonderful How To Win Friends And Influence People.
Along with Brian Tracy’s Goals!, David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits, Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich and Erich Fromm’s Art of Loving, it’s one of a handful of books that unequivocally transformed my life.
Go read my summary. Hang out in the right kinds of places. Be excited to meet people. Remember names. Ask lots of questions. Make others feel great. Be a great conversationalist. Become a better listener.
And as you master those skills, have the courage to be slightly picky.
It took me a long time to realise that there’s nobody in my core, nor has anyone ever lasted there very long, who I didn’t feel some kind of instant connection with.
It’s a fact. The first 1 – 3 minutes of meeting a new person are everything. If it isn’t a “Hell, yes!” from both of you, right away, then you might have fun, grow your network or enjoy an interesting conversation, but you probably won’t make a new friend.
And you know what? That’s OK.
As you spend more and more time in the right places with the right people, you’ll realise that friendship isn’t as scarce as you think it is. You’ll recognise there’s a big difference between getting on with someone and being friends with them. You’ll understand that the number of people you could be friends is much bigger than the number you should be.
And the secret to meeting the latter? Be patient. Be picky. Trust your gut.
Don’t fight uphill battles. Don’t jam square folks into round expectations. Don’t waste effort trying to turn weeds into flowers.
Remember part 6 of this series. Hold space for roses instead.
Wait for that magic “Hell, yes!“
Then use the time, space and energy you’ve just saved yourself to ask…
4. Would you choose to be friends with you?
If you’re looking for the right people, in the right places, in the right ways and you’re STILL struggling to make a connection, then there’s a good chance the problem isn’t with these steps… there’s a good chance the problem’s with you.
Because here’s the thing about the person you painted a portrait of in part 1 of this framework… that person wants to have great friends too.
They’re busy, they’re picky, they’re not suffering from low self-esteem…
Which is why the final secret to making new friends is to put yourself in the shoes of your imaginary, ideal friend and ask yourself, honestly:
“Would you choose to be friends with you?”
Don’t worry if the answer is no. Just repeat everything we’ve talked about in the last handful of updates, but do so from that person’s perspective. Ask:
- Who is this person probably friends with already?
- What kind of friends are they looking for?
- Why aren’t I that kind of person already? and
- How can I close out the gap?
Then start taking action.
Be unto others as you would have them be unto you.
Become the kind of person you’d be excited to be friends with.
Make becoming a great friend a priority and you’ll fly through the last part of this framework, you’ll be a happier, healthier, more inspiring kind of person and you’ll have mastered the final secret to the art of finding and making new friends…
Alright, that’s all for today! I am literally out of time.
Run through the 4 parts of this framework, share your insights, leave a comment and let me how those steps make you feel.
Then look out for my next update next Wednesday (we’re away until Tuesday next week) where I’ll show you how to help your new seeds become healthy shoots,
And until next time, be happy, be awesome and go well.
Part 8: Next Steps
So, over the last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about how to make friends.
Not the accidental, childhood friends who just happen to go to the same schools or live in the same towns as we did.
The conscious, deliberate friends we all need as adults to teach and inspire and support us to become our best selves.
It’s easier said than done.
Which is why we’ve already split our journey into 7 bite-sized parts:
- Part 1: Introduction – Why friendship matters and what’s coming up;
- Part 2: Core Theory – 5 levels of intimacy and 6 common problems;
- Part 3: Taking Stock – 5 steps to work out who your friends are right now;
- Part 4: Your Ideal Friend – 3 steps to a clear picture of your ideal friend;
- Part 5: Mind The Gap – 6 steps to spot gaps and opportunities in your core;
- Part 6: Pulling Weeds – 3 steps to escape toxic and empty relationships;
- Part 7: Planting Seeds – The who, where, what and you of new friends.
Pretty cool, right?
And the best part is… we’re just getting started.
Because here’s what we’ll talk about next…
- Part 8: Pushing Roots – How to make new friendships stick;
- Part 9: Growing Shoots – How to turn friendships into life-long relationships;
- Part 10: Life-Long Cultivation – How to systematically keep showing up;
- Part 11: Recap – Tying it all together (+ bonus tools and next steps).
The only thing is, there’s a catch…
Because while the first 7 parts of this series will always be available via the links at the top of this update, the rest of this series will only be available to members of the TRACKTION Community.
Why? Partly because I don’t want to keep forcing this stuff down your throat. If you want to know more, you’ll know where to find it. And in the meantime, there are DOZENS of other great topics I’m excited to talk about.
Partly because we’ve already covered the hardest part of how to make friends… getting started. Now you know why, who and where to upgrade your relationships, all you really need now is momentum. You just need to start taking action.
But mostly because this is where things get really tactical. We’ll cover everything from the 5 steps to turn friendships into habits and the best way to blow people away on their birthdays, to the 10 facts you should know about each of your friends and the EXACT system I use to make sure I never fall out of touch (no matter how far away I am or how crazy life gets).
It’s powerful stuff and rather than cram it into a handful of articles, I’d rather put the whole thing in a dedicated training space. I want you to be able to explore it and digest it and revisit it and ask me questions directly, whenever you get stuck.
That’s the deal. So wherever your head’s at right now…
Here’s what you need to do next:
If you’re not interested in learning more about friendship; if what’s coming up doesn’t excite you, then no worries. Sit back, relax and watch your inbox for more thoughts on health-, wealth-, relationship- and self-mastery, very soon.
But if that DOES excite you; if you’d like to get stuck into the HOW of making life-long, adult friends and you haven’t already joined us, then…
I’ll publish the rest of this series on friendship in the bonus section of the community over the next handful of weeks. And in the meantime…