This past weekend I was out of the country and had the opportunity to connect with people from many parts of the world in a face-to-face setting. I was struck again by just how similar we all are. At one round table, the conversation shifted to personal learning. One man said, “I discarded many people in my life that had flaws, and kept ones that were close to perfect. And I realized over the years that in fact, my perfect friends were the more flawed ones.”
He gave an example of two sets of friends he had. One set (perfect friends) were financially wealthy. Parties with these friends often meant going to a large home, with catered food, a wait staff, and often overly dressed where everything had to match. Conversations here often were about fancy vacations, new toys, troublesome kids and nannies, and tickets to hot events in town. The other set of friends (flawed) had dinners where you brought your own food and drinks, dressed in shorts and jeans, and talked about global warming, great new music and musicians, reminisced about failures in life, shared new Groupon ads, and laughed all the while. He enjoyed the latter more. He wished he had spend NO time with his perfect friends, and all his time with his imperfect friends.
This is not a new lesson but as I heard him share, I found myself learning it for the first time. Your time and your friends determine the quality of your life. This quality is related to your health. This week, forget about work. Call your imperfect friends, go have lunch/dinner at a hole in the wall diner, and cherish your mutual imperfections.