Saturday, November 19, 2016

How to become an Ideal Friend

Everyone wants a friend, a friend to share joys and sorrows with, a friend to care and support in need. But finding a true friend is not easy. It is as difficult to become one. With Friendship Day nearing again, TheHolidaySpot brings you some tips to help you be a perfect friend to your buddies. Read these beautiful tips that not only inspire you to become a better friend, but also a better person. 
 Its not easy becoming a friend or making one because a friend is not a state of mind. Its real and its in your face. A friend is someone who makes your life worth its while a little more than yesterday. While everybody has their own definitions of a "friend", the long and short of it is we all need friends to make our lives better. We at TheHolidaySpot value our friendship as much as you do and would like to share our ideas of how to become an ideal friend with you, for if wasn't for you we wouldn't be where we are today.
In friendship "honesty" is the key word. One should always be honest to his or her friends.
Don't overlook their faults, even if you have none for you are his friend!
Praise them honestly and openly.
Say you're sorry, when you hurt your friend. Don't let them assume it.

GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE... Be there when they need you or you may wind up alone.
Love them unconditionally, that is the only condition. Make them feel special, because aren't we all special?
Never forget them, who wants to feel forgotten.

BE SUPPORTIVE... Cheer them on, we all need encouragement now and then.
Encourage their dreams and aspiration, Life seems almost meaningless without them.
Your words count, use them wisely.
Use good judgement.
Wish them luck, hopefully good
Eamine your motives before you "help" out
Just be there when they need you
Really listen, a friendly ear is a soothing balm

FORGIVENESS... Forgive them for, "To Err is Human", and you just may end up making the same mistakes in course of time..

KEEP THE FAITH... Have faith in them. For, there is no love without trust.
Zip your lips when they confide in you

EXPRESS YOURSELF CLEARLY Know when they need a hug, and couldn't you use one?
Offer to help, and know when " No thanks" is just politeness
Quietly disagree, noisy No's make enemies
Verbalsise your feelings

HAVE FUN... Get together often, misery loves company, so does glee.
Talk frequently, communication is important.

Enjoying your friendship is the order of the day. So its not what we call a friendship if you don't feel right.
Always remember a friendship is worth it when you are able to enjoy the amazing relationship with no holds barred. Its a mutual bond for life that you cant give up.

What kind of a friend are you?

Friendship is precious. But, getting faithful and friendly friends is a real tough task. Isn’t it? If you can know your personality traits, then it would be easier to portray your image in front of your friends. Be familiar with what your birth date says about you as a friend? Grasp the opportunity with both of your hands to know about the kind of friend you actually are.

Friendship Stories

Friendship is that unique relationship that knows no difference, cultural or otherwise. Time and again, authors the world over have devoted themselves to the study of this beautiful relationship. Having the gift of authorship, they penned wonderful tales about friendship, imaginary or otherwise. Here is a compilation of some fabulous short stories on friendship that inspire you to become not only a better friend and make you understand the meaning of true friendship. 

"A True Friend"
 In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day one fellow met the great philosopher and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?". "Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test.". "Triple filter?". "That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?" "No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and...". "All right," said Socrates. "So you don't know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?" . "No, on the contrary...". "So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?" "No, not really." "Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

Well we can always participate in loose talks to curb our boredom. But when it comes to you friends its not worth it. Always avoid talking behind the back about your near and dear friends.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Is True Friendship Still Possible?

For more than two millennia, friendship has been lauded as a key to personal fulfillment.
Many of the most memorable works of western literature celebrate friendship. Achilles and Patroclus, David and Jonathan, and Damon and Pythias are only a few of the famous literary depictions of intimate friendship.

Many today fear that a hyper-individualistic, highly mobile society has undermined the capacity for sustained intimacy. Social media, from this point of view, has made friendship more superficial. It is certainly the case that a certain kind of lifelong personal bond, involving face-to-face connection over decades, has become less common, a casualty of the geographical dispersion that now characterizes American life.
But has friendship really declined? The reality is more complex.

Platonic friendships between women and men have never been more common. So, too, are friendships that cut across ethnic and racial lines. And cellphones, email, social media, and texting allow friends to maintain contact across time and space.
If we are to truly understand what is distinctive about friendship today, it is worthwhile to look at friendship over time. Like every other facet of life, friendship has a history.

In the ancient world, friendship was highly valued, but true friendship, authorities like Aristotle claimed, could only take place among men of leisure. Only these men, purportedly, had the independence, stature, and education to engage in the art of friendship.
In contrast, the early Christian Church took a rather negative view of exclusive friendships, preferring spiritual connections among all Christians.

Unlike friendship today, which is essentially a private relationship, in the past, friendship had a public dimension. In medieval Europe there were even public ceremonies, somewhat similar to marriage, that bound friends together. One’s patrons and dependents were called friends.

Before the late 18th century, men deemed women incapable of true friendship. The word “gossip” was used to describe a woman’s close friend, giving rise to the association of gossip with tittle-tattle and hurtful chatter.

As commercial society expanded in the 19th century, true friendship came to be viewed as the polar opposite of instrumental or economic relationships. Sociability became the hallmark of male friendships, fostered in saloons, barber shops, and fraternal societies.
This kind of collective male conviviality can still be found in fraternity houses and locker rooms, but for the most part it has declined, as many male-only bastions, apart from strip clubs, disappear.

Women in the 18th and 19th centuries looked to friendship for their closest relationships, far more intimate and emotionally intense than marriages. Indeed, women tended to speak of their close friends in familial terms, as sisterly, maternal, and filial, or even matrimonial.

Today, in stark contrast, close family relationships are likened to the bonds of friendship.  Couples aspire to be best friends, and many parents strive to befriend their children.
Friendship in the 19th century acquired deep symbolic significance, and many classic works of 19th-century literature, including The Last of the Mohicans, Moby-Dick, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, idealize cross-class, cross-racial friendships—but locate these friendships outside of established civilization. Such friendship may have represented a cultural fantasy, but one that seemed unrealizable within existing American society.

In our own time, the highest ideal of friendship combines two ideas: There is a therapeutic conception of friendship that emphasizes close listening, affirmation, and unconditional support.  Then there is a "feminine" conception of friendship that values communication, emotional expressiveness, closeness, the sharing of feelings, and intimate self-disclosure.
In today’s time-starved, stressful, highly mobile society, friendship has never been more necessary. It seems likely that loneliness and isolation contribute to more deaths than cancer. Nor have our standards of what constitutes true intimacy in friendship been higher. But the essence of friendship—frequent, lengthy face-to-face conversations—has grown ever more elusive.
We would do well to heed Aristotle:
“Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.”

True Friendship

Serious question: Do you know who your friends are? What makes your friends your friends?

Last night I sat on the couch in my apartment with an old friend and we cried together. She is going through a hard time in her career, the same thing I went through five years ago. Fittingly, it was this friend who stood by me as I went through my hard time and now I was doing the same for her. We cried, but not because it was sad; we cried because the more we talked, the more we realized how similar we are, how much our beliefs and values align. The emotional intensity of it all was so overwhelming that we both ended up in tears.

The experience was jarring for me. Not because I minded crying or sharing that kind of experience with a friend. It was jarring because sitting there and feeling what a close friendship is, I realized that a lot of people that I call "good friends" aren’t really good friends at all. I realized how readily I use terms like “good friend” or “close friend” with people I’ll never have this kind of experience with.
In this age of omniconnectedness, words like “network,” “community” and even “friends” no longer mean what they used to. Networks don’t exist on LinkedIn. A community is not something that happens on a blog or on Twitter. And a friend is more than someone whose online status we check.  A friend is an emotional bond, just like friendship is a human experience. What I've learned is that I've too often confused the weak bonds I have with people I know with the strong bonds I have with friends. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is.

A friend is someone with whom we share deep trust. The strong bond we have with a friend means that person will be there for us no matter what. The reason I made it through my depression a few years ago was because someone was there for me at a time when I could offer nothing in return. The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that we know exactly who will be there for us when we need something, no matter what or when.
There is a difference between vulnerability and telling people everything about ourself. Vulnerability is a feeling. Telling everyone about ourself is just facts and details. The problem is the more we share about ourselves on Facebook, for example, the more we confuse all that information with having others “get to know us.” Someone can look through our pictures, read our comments and opinions and start to think they know who we are, but they don’t. They only know what they see and read. Worse, the feeling they may have toward us is one-sided.

This phenomenon is called a parasocial relationship -- a relationship in which one person knows much more about the other. This is what happens with celebrities. Because we can read about their public lives in the tabloids and hear about what they are doing on TMZ, we think we know them. But we don’t know anything about who they are. In our modern world, however, we are all celebrities and we all live semipublic lives. Others can read about what we’re doing and who we know and what we like. They can start to form bonds with us, but those bonds are one-sided and they are not the basis for real, close friendship. The reality is those people are acquaintances -- a term we rarely hear anymore.
There are lots of people who tell me they are my friend. They seem to act like friends, but they aren’t really friends. I don’t, and probably won't ever, share that kind of deep, strong relationship with them.

I have one business relationship who, when he introduces me to people, introduces me as “my close friend, Simon.” Every time he does so, it makes me uneasy, because we’re not close friends. I’m not sure we’re even friends. Another professional relationship, almost from the day we met, would tell me, “this is the start of a long and close friendship.” He acted like a friend too. He would send me e-mails to say hi, call to chat, and he’d want to hang out when we were in the same city. But when we couldn’t agree on the terms of a formal business relationship, all of a sudden my “new close friend” stopped calling, stopped e-mailing and no longer wanted to spend time with me.

As my life becomes even more public, I meet lots of people and I form genuine friendships with some, but most are just acquaintances or professional relationships. The problem is that there are lots of people who think they know me. They think they are my friends. Yet friendship is too quixotic to be formed by a decision. It’s a feeling more like love. We can’t decide to be friends with someone. We can’t request it. It just happens.

The internet is good at connecting people with common interests. We can easily form weak bonds with people online. And those relationships are good and have real value, but strong bonds, trust and deep friendships require physical interaction -- and lots of it.
The lesson I learned this week is more of a reminder. I have too often confused the weak bonds I have with people I know with the strong bonds I have with people who are my friends. When I run the names of the people I call “good friends” through this new filter, I realize that I don’t have as many good friends as I thought. And that’s not a bad thing, because the ones I do have I value even more.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What You Need to Put in Your 5-Year Plan

Your mom, job recruiter, and spiritual Lululemon-employed BFF have all been telling you to create a five-year plan for years now, but somehow you just “haven’t quite gotten around to it.” With work, the ever-impending fear of student loan payments, tedious job applications, and whatever’s left of your social life, it can be hard to find time to actually sit down and think about what you want a few years from now. However, despite constant efforts to postpone the realities of post-college life, goal setting can be incredibly beneficial in making life after college a little less scary.
Why do you need a five-year plan?

Although some may see goal setting as monotonous, creating a five-year plan is actually a lot easier than you would think. A five-year plan can be described as a map, or timeline of your life from now to five years from now, including personal goals and dreams you wish to achieve. The best part is, it’s completely controlled and based off of what you want, and what you desire. The future is in your hands, and it’s up to you to design it.
The best place to start when creating a five-year-plan is to jot down a list of things that are important to you and that you wish to accomplish in your life. Next, create an end goal in each of these sections, and work backwards to figure out what steps you can take in the next five years in order to achieve these goals. It may be overwhelming at first, but the more you break things down, the easier it will be to see how achievable your goals actually are. If you’re still stuck, or don’t know where to be begin, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. To all our fellow graduates out there (and all of you ambitious seniors!), we present five critical components you may want to consider when creating your five-year plan.

1. Career

Though your career can definitely be the path that guides you towards the goals and dreams you wish to achieve, the process of finding that path can be a bit overwhelming. While we all hope to land our dream job straight out of college, realistically, that may not happen. Analisa Cortés, a 2014 graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, says, “to get to where I am now, I had to be okay with taking risks when accepting jobs. By giving myself the option to not like something, it took the pressure off of finding my ‘dream job’ straight out of college. Once I realized that it’s okay to take one job within my field in order to get to the next, I was able to leverage myself for new opportunities in my career.”
Like Cortés, be sure and remember that it’s okay to take small steps in order to achieve your top goals. Maybe you’d like improve your networking skills to find new opportunities. Start by making a list of people to get in contact with and the best way to reach out to them. Perhaps you want to work your way up in a corporation. Research the career path of people you work with, and find out what steps they took to get there. Whether you work in retail or have landed a corporate assistant position for your favorite company, mapping out your career path can help you get to where you need to be that much faster. A five-year plan is not only great for helping you stay on track, but will help you work your way towards achieving your what you really want.

2. Life

When we think about the future, we oftentimes paint a picture of the way things are “supposed” to be. Whether it’s what our parents had always wanted for us, or simply the way society influences us, our hopes and dreams tend to sway towards that picture-perfect lifestyle. When creating a five-year plan, however, it’s important to make the effort to try and think outside the box others have created. Write it all down, and take the time to truly reflect on what you want in life and what’s best for YOU. Dream coach expert, stylist, and entrepreneur Tiare Thomas of Aloha Dream Board says that doing something that you think is the “right” thing to do even if it doesn’t feel right can lead you to a dead end. “I meet many people who have entered college and signed up to study subjects driven by money or what others would like for them to pursue. Many of these people, after they graduate from college, may find themselves working in a career that is not in alignment with their core values and what may not bring them happiness, tend to feel unhappy and eventually ‘stuck,’” she says. “They end up creating a life they don’t want. If we identify our values and intentions, from the beginning, and align them with our passions and being of service to others, we are able to feel happier and more at peace with our lives.”
If you don’t know exactly what you may want for your future, creating a dream board can help you to organize your thoughts and feelings of what you wish to achieve, Thomas says, adding that doing so has helped many of her clients find clarity. Whether it’s five years down the road or not, Thomas suggests thinking about not only what you want in life at this moment, but how you want to feel in the future. If you’re unhappy in your relationship or career path, think about how you would like to feel instead. Want a job where you feel valued? Or a relationship that inspires you? Find pictures to represent these feelings, use them to create your dream board and put it up somewhere you can see it as a daily reminder of what you want for yourself. YOU have the power to create the future YOU want for yourself.

3. Love

When it comes to our future, love is probably one of the biggest aspects we take into consideration. Whether you’re in a long-term relationship, single, or somewhere in between, it’s hard not to look five years ahead and wonder where you’ll be and who you’ll be with. While we all hope our future doesn’t look like a page out of Bridget Jones’s Diary knowing where you want to be in five years with or without someone is important to ensure not only happiness for yourself, but for your partner as well. Maybe you look ahead and think you see a wedding, or maybe you don't, but the important part is to evaluate each part of your plan for yourself, and see what’s right for you.
If you are in a serious relationship, now may be a great time to sit down and work on your five-year plan together. Start by having you and your partner create a list of goals and dreams separately, and then take a look and see how they compare. Locate the similarities and differences and discuss how you can help one another achieve the goals you have for yourselves, and your relationship. If both you and your SO are on the same page, you will have a much greater chance of accomplishing your goals and having a happy, healthy future.

4. Travel

Although traveling can be expensive, it is often overlooked as an essential component in shaping the person you are today, and who you want to be in the future. Sure, not everyone can backpack on a summer trip through Europe or sail the Caribbean, but whether you’re driving 50 miles or flying 5000 miles, traveling can help you experience and see life through a different perspective. Make a list of places you’ve always wanted to visit, or landmarks you are dying to see. Add them to your plan, figure out how you’re going to get there, and you’ll be jetsetting before you know it!
If there is an exciting trip you’ve always wanted to take, but never seemed to have the money to afford, try thinking of ways you can use other aspects of your life to help achieve that goal. Maybe work a part-time job on the side to help finance that vacation. Instead of spending the extra income frivolously, put the money into an account to save up for your plane ticket. If health and fitness are important to you, make an effort to stop eating out during the week. You can then use the money you saved on food to pay for your hotel.

5. Personal development

Above all else, it’s important that you include your own personal development in your five-year plan. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you hope to improve about yourself? What skills do you hope to develop? When you take a moment to stop and write down your five-year plan, be sure that you truly reflect on yourself as a person. As much as we wish life after college reflected an episode straight out of Sex and the City, in reality it can be a bit of a rollercoaster at times. Although our hopes and dreams seem nice on paper, we can never achieve the goals we’re really striving for, unless our hearts are truly set in the right direction to chase them. “I’m constantly working towards my goals and keeping myself motivated to do more. Whether my goal is for my career, or to fuel my passion for traveling, overall I think the key to life is to reach for your dreams and always try to do more than you think you can,” says Jennifer Jacome, a 2012 graduate from Arizona State University.
After taking the time to create a list of desires, a dream board, and mapping out a timeline for your five-year plan, take a step back and try to really evaluate if you’re ready as an individual to start conquering your goals. Highlight the holes, fill in the gaps, and remember to ask for help when you need it. Take your time, be honest with yourself, and trust that your careful planning and determination will pay off in just a matter of time.

At the end of the day, remember that no matter what path you take, everyone is different. Life changes and if you need to edit your plan as you go along, that’s okay. The important thing is that you continue working on creating a life that you love and makes you happy. No matter what, the future is in your hands and you have the power to do whatever you put your mind to. As the saying goes, “the world is your oyster,” so get out there and make it yours!


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