How do I find friends? How do I find a good mentor? How do I find a good group of people that are smart and that make me better?
Do cool stuff
It’s incredibly important to not underestimate the power of the people you surround yourself with. The saying ‘you are the five people you spend the most time with’ is true.
But here’s the paradox. Wanting it and trying to get it decreases the odds that you’ll find it. Stop looking for smart people. Stop looking for mentors. Stop looking for cool people. Start doing cool stuff.
Start chasing the things you’re interested in. Start working hard wherever you are to create value for others. Don’t be shy about what those interests and hobbies and abilities are. Start blogging everyday about the books you love to read. Pretty soon, the people who love the same things you do will start to realize it. You have to broadcast the signal of your interests to the world. Focus on engaging your interests and it becomes pretty difficult over time to not intersect with interesting people doing the same things.
Start doing and building cool stuff. The people will find you.
Focus on meaningful interaction
What happens when those people do find you? Instead of focusing on friendship and whether or not you would trust that person in a trust fall, focus on meaningful interaction with human beings wherever you are present. It doesn’t matter if they fit your typical ‘friends stereotype’. There will always be people doing the same things. It doesn’t matter what their age is, what their rank is, what their station in life is, meaningfully engage with them over those interests. That’s where the best kind of friends come from.
It’s not that you aren’t intersecting with these people. It’s that you aren’t busy completely immersing yourself in stuff that’s interesting to you.
This post is based on the October 17 episode of the Office Hours podcast. Want to get more actionable insights on how to take charge of your life and career? Subscribe now.