The 17 essentials of a lifelong friendship

If you think of someone while reading these, it is an excellent indicator that your friendship is well on its way to last a lifetime:

1. You two connect with each other at a deeper level because you share the same value system.
2. You two feel the same way about a lot of things and react to most people and situations similarly.
3. Your friendship is not dependent on proximity, like being in the same class, school, building, office, gym, etc.
4. You both know that you are in each other’s mind even if you are busy with your lives.
5. You don’t nag each other about not staying in touch. This is different from playful chiding.
6. When you do catch up you can just pick up where you left.

7. Your friend comes to you for advice about personal issues and you are able to do the same with them.
8. You can keep their secrets till the end of time.
9. You are able to convey your true feelings and point of view about what they are doing or going through without the need for sugar coating.
10. They know that your have their best interests at heart.
11. They come to you to vent and for the truth.
12. You don’t take charge of their life by withholding information from them.
13. You don’t make decisions on their behalf and tell them years later or not at all.
14. You don’t worry about “evil eye” and are able to share important life events with them.
15. You stand up for them in a group of doubters and haters.
16. You are not jealous of them. You are not their ‘frenemy’.
17. You are able to address any misunderstandings/disappointments you have and reconcile the differences.

What other essentials would you add to the list?

To the richa, the has been, back in time.

Dear Richa,
I am so pleased to be able to write to you today.
I have been looking for the right moment and the right mood where I would be able to convey my thoughts to you in the right state of mind.Richa, there is a huge portion of the world that you have not been exposed to.
It is made of all the things that you know exist and it is all the things that
you know that you will one day know that exist.

Don’t let the magnitude of it scare you into a state of depression.
Because this art that you have learnt of suppressing your often unreasonable emotional outbursts will lead to a state of intense creative moments of inspiration and also of moments of dispassion and withdrawal  from the world. Let not the magnitude of your calling and your personal levels of excellence shun you into inaction.

Know that at each point of time, you will and always have been exposed to the information you have needed to get to the next step. So, who you are conditioned into being and who you are programmed into becoming maybe just as good as any other. For inside you lie the values and moral fiber required for you to really get what you want.

The decisions you will take today will get outdated really quickly for the world will see immeasurable change in the near future. So it will only be fair for you to say that you have changed your mind. You have the right to change. However often that might have to be. So never be afraid to change for  the better. Only you will be in a position to know who you really are and who you are best as. Do not give away the opportunity to be a better more effective you.

You will seek answers to your emotional self. This will push you to study psychology, literature and philosophy. You will also take totally unexpected decisions in direct contradiction to all the things your brain will tell you. And this will teach you a lot about the duality of all decisions taken.

Here are some little phrases I would like to leave you with:
Be good,  to yourself. Eat well.Think good thoughts. Meet happy well-wishers. Surround yourself with goodness.
Believe that that which you are good at completely can give you the things you want in your life.
The way is made only after the first step is taken
Respect your dreams
Respect your inner voice
Be bold about who you want to be
Respect your inner talent
Give it expression

Show up

Love is more than the dark alleys that it will make you believe that it is. Love is a much larger concept.
It originates from a love of life. A love for improving the way we live life. That is at the core.

Know that each of us has something special that makes us tick.

For some it is about
Taking risks – in what they wear, who they make friends with, what work they do, what study they pursue, where they put their money.
Being powerful and in-charge of situations – being in charge of their own mind, changing the course of people’s lives for the better, giving them something to do, getting things done from people,  getting them done well.
Making money as a representation of their grit- traditional businessmen who do it because they are good at it.
Being influential – having contacts, networks, getting a sense of popularity
Being accepted as an intelligent person – Phd scholars and researchers
Being in demand – because of beauty or talent
Being useful to the world – being a social servant
Being creative – inventing something
Being an ideal example of what the human can be – athletes
Being a mentalist – playing with peoples minds for the kicks of it

Figure out which one of these you want to be.

Know that life comes to you in the form of people.
Those people are there just to manifest some aspects in your life.
They are not life itself.

Someone will show you the meaning of love.
Someone will demonstrate hate, jealousy, pride, anger, talent, passion,
Someone will show you the meaning of achievement, of drive, of commitment
of strategy..
Each person is the sum of a hundred books. You come across people so that you don’t have to read hundred books that make up who she/he is. You meet them to know about the set of their life choices, to see a new version, a different genre of life. This increases your knowledge and adds richness to your life experiences. It makes you better equipped to be who you can be and what you can achieve.

What makes you tick?
You probably even know it. If not find out real soon. Life is short.
It is about time that you respect it and do something about it.
Or else this feeling of emptiness, timelessness and sense of drifting from one day to another will not let you live anymore.
Do ONLY the things that make you want to get out of bed each morning, and nothing less!
Do the things that make you thankful for being alive!


The ‘+’ Theory

My Theory of Happiness -Happiness is absolute, all within you, not dependent on anyone else. The more lasting the feeling, the more abstract it is. Once you locate the spark plug for it, the knowledge of it will never leave you, even when you are really sad or feel like crying. When you have found it, you know it for sure.  Have you found it yet?

Theory of Permanence- Upon wondering why spirituality is exalted over materialistic pursuits one may find that it is more permanent in its after effects. A lot of materialistic activities when reflected upon at a later stage seem to be wasteful (those which did not contribute towards tangible growth). However being in touch with ones inner voice has dependable results.

All good things are timeless.

Theories Part 1

Theory of Specialization – one can give 100% subconscious attention to only one thing at a time (theory of subconscious prioritizing). This focus of attention is effortless and happens in phases which may last for a day, a week or even months. In other words, it is considered by some people as a ‘phase’ they are going through.
It is all you can care about at that moment, at times being fully aware of the ‘fixation’ you might be experiencing. You stick to whatever your sub-conscious mind considers the number one priority, regardless of what your rational brain tells you should be doing. E.g people focus on social approval in school and college. That takes up a all of mental real estate, whether they want it or not.
Theory of Sequencing– the sequencing of specialization will usually not be same for any two people (especially friends). The sequence in which one experiences different dimensions of the same thing will influence his beliefs and values about it…   If one has a happy experience before having to face disappointments, he might be more optimistic about the whole situation. This can also lead to awe on one hand and lack for consideration for someone who has different set of beliefs because his experience has been different at that point of time. 

Which is why when two people of exactly the same age and similar upbringing meet, they may still have a lot to share and learn from each other.

This brings us to the important aspects of maturity.

– which is the ability to know/foresee, by observing others, that experiences much different from the ones we have had so far, lie ahead of us.
– the ability to understand and know the sequence of events in another’s life can give you more consideration (empathy) and maybe even mental peace.. so that you don’t end up wondering “how could she!?” this will bring us to :- 

Theory of Time Spacing of Relationships – there will be people you will feel comfortable in talking to once a month, some once a week, some twice a week and some everyday. How people get divided into these slots is more subconscious than intentional. Upon facing some setback, one might have to shift a certain someone from one slot to another…which causes some people intense sadness. 

You do have such slots.. don’t you? 

Theories Part 2

1. Passions -we are all blessed to have unexpected energy for activities which are unique to you … i.e. the context with which you understand them is at such a deep level that it is almost a wordless abstract feeling so that expressing how you feel while immersed in that activity may be impossible.. things you are good at naturally, that you will like to be at  for long spans of time without money or reward and would like to see yourself involved in for the rest of your life. ..things you are always happy to return to.. things that make you feel enriched, long after you have been involved in them,  are your passions..
What are yours?

2. Escape Mechanisms– which I also call ‘The Dope Theory’ – a person will seek to create a comfort zone at all times by doing activities that are appealing to him but may not be useful to him and in this capitalistic world – useful means that which earns us monetary dividends.  This Dope causes non monetary gains. If you get rid of one form of dope another will inevitably take its place.. In 97% of the people. It may become hard to separate passions from escape mechanisms. But most of the time, passions are more long lasting…even when they may seem to subside, there will be no after thoughts or sense of regret towards having spent time/energy on them..and in your free time you will naturally gravitate towards that activity. not so for escape mechanisms.
What is your dope? – music? love? substances? games? friends?…

3. Theory of Negatives– those characteristics which become invisible while following one or the other escape mechanism.  The selective reality is picked out and expanded and dominated by the mind. This a byproduct of the Dope Theory mentioned earlier. These come back at you once you let go of one of the escape mechanisms.

 4. Theory of Intense Experiences :

is closely related to the NEED to have an intense experience. Some people have a more developed sense of complete immersion. Some people are able to concentrate on various aspects of one activity. Such a  hungry soul will keep looking for experiences it can immerse itself in. As a side remark this bring us to “Qualia” which refers to the subjectivity of the same experience in two different people… or in the same person at two different points of time e.g. no two people can hear and register a song in exactly the same way.  It is also why people read the same book twice and find something new in it..because they are not the same person anymore.

Such people are more creative and always seeking areas of interest that can help them manifest and make visible the intensity and oneness inside them. this brings us to the :-

5. Theory of Momentous Moments – slots of time when different passions co-exist and synergize, when life concentrates itself into these momentous moments. We all live in pursuit of these moments. However, did you know that these do not have to be limited in number – eg – birthdays, weddings, the first this or the first that… these things are usually over-rated. The good news is that If you find the right state of mind – the frequency of  such moments can be maximized… to once a day..Once an hour!!  and more…

6. Theory of Slide Ins -in momentous moments e.g. those that originate from goodness, unconditional happiness and  love will always feel like effortless sliding in… in short spans of time measurable in seconds, the mind releases all resistance and subconsciously says YES to a new experiences.. Now for any other mental activity this process of decision making should have taken a lot of thoughtful planning but in some situations it will feel like you travelled through time and you slipped from mode into another.

Theories Part 3

Theory of Relationships– all forms of relationships can be associated to a parallel in nature.
Mutualism which is a give and take in equal measure which is extremely rare, 

Commensalism – where one is benefited and the other is not effected too much either positively or negatively- occurs when the 2 parties are too varied in scale- where one has so much to give in comparison to the one who can receive- (this is why scholarships exist), 

Parasitism – where one feeds on another’s resources/emotions to gain energy to feed his weaknesses/complexes – this is very common in humans, 

Symbiosis which is a give and take and give relation where both win by a large margin- extremely rare. 

Think back and see who is who in your life. 

Theory of Plants– each one has a psychological setup. Some people can be considered to be like :- 

Grass- content, humble and at peace with their position in life- they don’t need a lot to survive. These are people who are not even employees. People who have decided to be in their place and just get by… 

Shrubs- these are ones that fight for resources and are extremely aggressive but from a distance they seem petty. These are the people who are trying their best,for at least they evolved over grass…eg the ambitious employees. 

The Trees! – Those that take the initiative to go deep and high at the same time – those that take the responsibility to cycle a lot of resources and make an amazing contribution to the environment around them, usually something out of nothing.- apart from all the other things that they provide. They provide shade… which is something that none of the others can do. 

If there are trees, can the Creepers be far behind- some people are like creepers. They are parasitic in nature and not too hard to spot! You know what I am talking about. 

The good news is that you can consciously decide which plant to be.. And which plants you want in your life! 

Theory of Interdependence – and interconnectivity- where the nature of the action will affect the reaction. Know that all your acts are never in isolation, everything that you do becomes a part of your passive identity and all actions you take thereon will originate from that self identity. 

It can be an interesting exercise to deliberately undo that notion hence formed.. and act without referring to prior experiences.
 Theory of Depth vs Width – in any form of relationship one could aim at going as wide as deep for understanding another person.. Not only one could know the range of behaviors, moods, reactions a person can display but also the intensity to which he/she can do this. You could do this for each person or you could gather a repertoire of reactions by observing everyone you know. E.g In friendships, one can talk for 2 mins each day  to 100 or one can talk for 100 mins with two people in that day. The first case is that of going wide and second is that of going deep.

About The Author

Richa brings you only the most practical, to-the-point, no-nonsense information that helps turn your house into your dream home. She has a passion for simplifying design concepts that you can actually put to use. She has a degree in Architecture, over thirty published articles, a life blog and has co-authored the bestseller 'My First Home' with Shashank Shekhar.


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