If you’re trying to take yourself and your life to the next level, it makes a lot of sense to aim higher when it comes to making friends. The right friends will support you emotionally and provide practical help along the way.
If you have exciting friends that aren’t as ambitious as you are, chances are that they’re unconsciously holding you back. You don’t have to stop seeing them; your best bet is to focus on building friendships with new people. If you want to make friends with ambitious people, read on.
In this article, I would like to share with you three important steps. These steps will help you go to the next level in your social life, meet many ambitious and interesting people, and have them stick around for a long time.
Step #1 – Take Control Of Your Social Life (Don’t Leave It To Chance!)
People seem to leave their friendship life to chance, more often than not. While that probably worked well when you were a kid, it most certainly won’t work for you as an adult. With no college or school to facilitate new friendships, you need to be proactive about it. This means that you get conscious and curious about friendship and how it works—consciously make time, every week, for meeting new people, staying in touch, and hanging out with them.
Studies have shown that the influence other people have on you is strong; your destiny literally depends on the people you hang out with. This is why it’s important to have a clear idea of the kind of people you want to have in your life. All you have to do is make a general list of qualities, attributes, or activities that you want in your future friends. It doesn’t have to be definitive; it’s just a guide for your mind. You can start by listing qualities like “healthy,” “ambitious,” “honest,” “productive,” “fun,” “interesting,” etc.
Step #2 – Adopt These Winning Social Habits
Success in your friendship life means that you don’t only use the tips once in a while; it means that you adopt the easy new habits that will work on a consistent basis. The first habit is to go meet new people every month. The way to do that is to join a local community that meets up once or twice every month. Try a few that you can find on meetup.com and decide on the one that has the kind of people you’d like to get to know better. In general, go where meeting people is easy; focus on places like trade shows, cultural or charitable events, seminars and talks, and so on.
The second habit is to dedicate at least one hour every week to reaching out to people in your network. You can put it in your calendar; it can be something like every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Early in the week is better. Contact and network with important/strategic LinkedIn connections during this hour. This habit will make sure you don’t lose touch with your existing friends, and follow up with the new people you meet.
The third habit is to decide what you’re going to do over the weekend ahead of time. When it’s time to reach out to people, plan ahead and decide on what you want to do; suggest that plan to those you want to see. This is why it’s important that you contact people early enough in the week, when they haven’t already decided what to do on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Step #3 – Build A Social Circle
Making friends can be time-consuming if you don’t optimize your efforts. If you’re always the one calling and making plans, then you’re not going to be doing it for very long. The best way to tackle this is to focus on forming groups of friends, instead of having a bunch of friends that don’t know each other. I recommend that you always introduce the people that you know to each other, especially if they’re of the ambitious kind. After they meet once or twice, a new group emerges, and you now have a circle of friends. When that happens, they start to call and make plans as well, which means you’ll have more time to contact and make plans with people that you don’t know that well.
As you meet new people, introduce them to the existing group, and make it bigger. If you prefer to meet in small groups, this is a great strategy as well; you can still meet two or three people at the same time, even if your social circle has dozens of people in it.
These three steps will get you started on having ambitious, resourceful friends that will help you succeed, introduce people to you, and emotionally support you when you need it. What’s really important is to open your mind to learning about friendship, how it works, and how you can apply that information to your life.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.