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To get the most out of your companionship, you must choose your friends well. One of the greatest time-wasters and obstacles to success in all areas of life is associating with the wrong people. Yet surprisingly many individuals spend time with dysfunctional characters whom they don 't even like. Associating with the wrong people can cost you your time, energy, creativity, and money. They can even cost you your health - mainly mental.
We all have a negative acquaintance or two who seems to know everything there is to know about what is wrong with this world. These pessimistic individuals, to be sure, can be just a little unpleasant and difficult to be around. If you are like me, after a few moments with them, you begin to squirm in your seat, trying to determine your next course of action. Unfortunately, there are no laws under which you can have negative people charged for interfering with your life.
One day German poet Otto Erich Hartleben consulted a doctor about his health problems. The doctor advised Hartleben to quit smoking cigarettes and to stop drinking alcohol. The doctor added, "This visit will cost you three marks." "I'm not paying you," retorted Hartleben, "because I'm not taking your advice." Undoubtedly, you have found this out through experience: Most people won't follow advice - regardless of how good it is - as was the case with poet Otto Erich Hartleben. Your advice may very well be helpful, but if it means that the recipient of the advice must put in some work and effort, he or she will likely discard it. Giving advice may not only be a waste of your time and energy - it can be dangerous as well.
Common sense tells us that we shouldn't waste time on things that we can't change. This applies, not just to situations and events, but to people as well. Yet all of us fall into the trap of trying to change people to the way we would like them to be. If you fall into this trap yourself, you should question whether it's wise to try to transform others. Everything can make perfectly good sense if you never really think about it all that much - but sometimes you must. Fact is it's all too easy to overestimate your ability to change others. This includes friends, relatives, lovers, and neurotics.
We all have to deal with them on a daily basis: weird and difficult people. At times of frustration and disappointment with these characters, a friend of mine mutters, "Human beings, what a stupid concept!" Mark Twain must have felt the same when he wrote, "If man had created man he would be ashamed of his performance." Like my friend, you probably sometimes wish that other human beings especially those with whom you live and work - were as logical, trustworthy, intelligent, kind, hard-working, fun-loving, and practical as you.
Hay un tiempo cuando los padres quedan huérfanos de sus hijos. Es que los niños crecen independientes de nosotros, como árboles murmurantes y pájaros imprudentes. Crecen sin pedir permiso a la vida. Crecen con una estridencia alegre y, a veces, con alardeada arrogancia.Pero no crecen todos los días, de igual manera, crecen de repente. Un día se sientan cerca de ti en la terraza y te dicen una frase con tal naturalidad que sientes que no puedes más ponerle pañales. ¿Dónde quedaron la placita de jugar en la arena, las fiestitas de cumpleaños con payasos y los juguetes preferidos?
Throughout the ages many accomplished individuals have sung the praises of being alone. Henry David Thoreau, for instance, boasted, "I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude." This leads into the all-important question: Can you enjoy spending a lot of time alone? If you can't, it's likely a sign that you aren't able to discover quality in your own character.
There aren't many things on this planet that are more precious that true friends. It was the Greek writer Euripides who said, "One loyal friend is worth 10,000 relatives." Fortunately, we get to choose our friends as opposed to relatives, who are forced upon us. When choosing new friends, however, much care should be taken. The key to optimizing happiness is to cultivate quality friendships with a few happy and interesting individuals. Quality is more important than quantity. In this regard, we can rephrase the above words of Euripides to "One true friend is worth more than 10,000 superficial ones."