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Old Friends

March 19, 2024

There is nothing like old friends.

There are many new subscribers this week; I’m glad you’re here. You’ll notice that some weeks, these posts are very tactical and apply to our professional endeavors. Other times, they have a more personal application. However, each week tackles something I’m learning or feel compelled to share. 

This one falls on the more personal side, as it’s coming off a trip to Texas last week where I caught up with Jon Seidl, an old friend who lives in the area. 

I hadn’t seen Jon for several years, so I wondered what the dynamic would be like. Would I get together with Jon and realize that after time, distance, and change, we have nothing in common anymore?

This meeting wasn’t like that at all.

It felt like we picked right back up where we left off. We recounted stories of the trip we were on together in Israel 10 years ago, we shared updates about our own children, and we talked about our faith. We felt known, even though we hadn’t spent time together in so long, and it reminded me there really is something special about old friends.

Can you think of relationships you’ve cultivated for years?

How about someone you’ve met recently who might be a friend for life?

The great philosophers Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, reunited thirty years after recording “Islands in the Stream,” to perform another duet called “You Can’t Make Old Friends.” 

What will I do when you’re gone?
Who’s gonna tell me the truth?
Who’s gonna finish the stories I start
The way you always do?

When somebody knocks at the door
Someone new walks in
I will smile and shake their hands
But you can’t make old friends

Life is full of transition. We all have new friends, community, and co-workers, but there is something special about people who have been in your life for a long time. These are the people who knew you before you became the person you are today. 

These were your coworkers at your very first job.
These were the members of your favorite organization in college.
These were the classmates that sat with you at lunch everyday in high school.
These were the other parents on your child’s sports team.
These were the neighbors who walked through that difficult time with your family.

We must remember the value of investing in long-term friendships—ones that span the many seasons and changes of life.

And if you’re thinking, “I’m here to get better at my job, Kevin,” friendships matter there too. Gallup has found that having a best friend at work is strongly linked to business outcomes, including profitability, safety, inventory control, and retention. 

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably either encouraged because you’re picturing certain friends in your mind, or you’re discouraged because you feel like it’s too late—you’ve lost touch with your old friends.

It’s not too late to make an investment.

When discussing friendship, Zig Ziglar would say: “If you go out looking for friends, you’re going to find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

Reach out. Take the first step. Initiate. Be a friend, and reconnect with some old friends. You’ll be surprised by how reaching out could reform a meaningful connection that could last a lifetime.


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