If you want a friend, be a friend. There is never a guarantee. However, if you do not put anything into a friendship it’s certain the friendship will never grow.
Keep in mind that friendships take time. The Bible says a man of too many friends “will soon come to ruin,” Proverbs 18:24. Why is this? Because too much time maintaining too many friends doesn’t allow you the time you need to work your job, spend time with your family, do your school work, life work and take care of your business. If a person has 10 or 20 friends to spend time with every week or even month, they will eventually neglect their family or careers.
The key is balance. Invest in people with your time and life and some of it will come back to you from others. Sometimes it won’t this is why you have to be realistic in building your network of friends and relationships.
Many years ago, a prospective student called about enrolling in our school and asked, “If I enroll in this school will I get anything out of it?” I said, “If you don’t put anything into it, you won’t get anything out of it. If you put a lot into it, then you’ll get a lot out of it.” The man enrolled and went on to become a president of a college.
Growing up I remember my relatives being hard workers. Some of them raised amazing gardens, while keeping their property clean and maintained. It took work but they took pride in their homes and how they lived their lives. They put a lot into where they lived and it showed.
If you put a lot into something it shows. Your marriage, job, children, career and your life in general. School work will reflect your effort. If you put money into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401k or 403b every month your wealth will eventually grow and reflect your efforts. Social Security income checks reflect years worked and how much paid into the system.
However, anyone can put a lot into something without experiencing success. Businesses, marriages and careers have come short or even failed even though people invested everything. Often there are other factors beyond our control that all the work and focus will not resolve or overcome. You can’t control what other people may or may not do that will impact your life’s work and ambitions.
With this said, we have to remember the principle of reaping and sowing. If you want a good garden you have to sow and care for the garden. Neglecting the garden is a sure path to failure.
Important aspects to relationships, wealth, health, career success and more are focus and investing wisely. The more you sow, the more you will reap. You can’t control all of life’s circumstances and influencers but you can control what you do.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and his column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.