Frozen with Friends
The night seemed ruined and worse, two of the players had to stay the night due to the snow storm. We needed to figure out what to do to stay entertained and motivated. Turns out being trapped together with failed plans provided entertaining results with wonderful people. With a little creativity and the right friends we made the evening work and managed to salvage a wonderful time out of a snow sentenced imprisonment.
Instead of the established norm we simply brainstormed ideas and random activities. Part movie night, dinner party, and campfire like stories which culminated into one of the most enjoyable gatherings we had in a long time. One of the activities thought up was watching a mutual show we all liked. In our case it was the three-part episode of South Park that made fun of Game of Thrones TV show. None of us had laughed that hard over an episode of South Park in years and it was fantastic to share the experience. Through the night activities switched between friends. While two of us were looking at a funny picture the others may have played a game. Switching back and forth, each bringing their own flavor of ideas to what to do. Everyone was open-minded and gave each idea shot and it proved better for it.
The experience made me recollect on how often plans fail and cancellations take place with giving up and going home the most consistent outcome. Activities, while a wonderful way to stay organized and providing a guideline for what comrades do together and get excited about give the needed excuse to hang out and share the moment. In short the goal is the people not the activity. With a little effort new activities can happen and make the evening enjoyable for everyone.
Taking the initiative is hard especially when everyone is trying to find excuses to not do something. How easy it is to act like a kid again because what the group planned did not work out, but the right attitude and a little open-mindedness can change things for the better. More than once I have found myself acting petty because of the, "I did not get my way" state of mind. It is selfish, counter productive, and only makes the rest of the group upset. Trying new things opens our minds and changes perceptions. Hating something without even trying it is pointless and is more a fear of leaving your comfort zone than aiding the situation or truly hating something.
Furthermore it helped to find the friends that had graced me with their presence. Polite, patient, willing to share, and cleaned up after themselves, made my confidence grow with the people I had surrounded myself with. A realization came over me on the size of the impact these people had on me in recent years.
Take a hard look at friends, family, coworkers, fellow party goers, and consider their ethics, habits, philosophies. Tim Ferris, writer of the "Four Hour Work Week" believes heavily in the 80/20 philosophy where 80% of your results stem from a just 20% of your source. A key example "80% of the consequences flow from 20% of the causes" likewise 80% of what is going wrong or right in your life is directly linked to 20% of the company you keep. Tim Ferris took the principle even further applying to all aspects of life from the clothes he wore down to the company he kept.
"For the entire day, I put aside everything seemingly urgent and did the most intense truth-baring analysis possible, applying these questions to everything from my friends to customers and advertising to relaxation activities. Don't expect to find you're doing everything right ---- the truth often hurts." pg 69-70 
Many times parents worry about their children surrounding themselves with the wrong classmates. Often referred to as the "bad seed" or "negative influence," hold people responsible to their attitude and actions it is what defines us and reaps the positive and negative consequences. A business owner will not hire a worker who does not go to work and a girlfriend is seldom going to stick around for a man who is only into himself. Human beings are social and driven by what our peers believe allowed and unacceptable. A group of athletes will usually do physical activities, trouble makers will break the rules, and party animals will often go out and drink. The whole idea is to find social acceptance in a group of people who share a common interests. On the other hand just because it may feel nice to have such bonds does not mean they are real and without the proper outlook we could pay high prices for the people we choose to call friends.
With time comes experience and we learn who is worth having by our side and which groups to avoid to stay on the best path for our progress. The friends that I opened my home to where gracious and through key moments have proven worth my time. When someone lies all the time, puts you down, steals or assaults they are not worth your time. Dragging you down with their mistakes and life choices and providing situations that only end with bad results. The idea of leaving established ties and starting in a new crowd provides challenges because it requires change but change that helps improve for better through better people. Sharing a like-minded goal with friends helps make each other better in providing support and encouragement. Winners hand around other winners to understand their methods and make themselves better. That will not happen if surrounded by the lazy or foolhardy they choose to better themselves by being with better people.
Friends are an essential part of life in defining ourselves and helping to find the path we wish to follow. Choosing those friends will decide if that part of our life will be a blessing or a curse. The nice fact of friends over family is the ability to choose. It is within us to surround ourselves with people we want to emulate to make us better. The changes and sacrifices made to do so are hard but the reward provides comrades that last a lifetime. With the right friends providing their own flavor to things the possibilities are endless to what we can become and the experiences that comrades enjoy together. So the next time you feel trapped with the need to change plans on the fly take advantage of the time spent together and know the blessings you have with people you spend your time with.