- “Your friends should be your greatest vehicle for brainstorming.”
- Are you looking to deepen the relationships in your life? In this episode, learn 5 different ways to generate, strengthen, and enrich your friendships so that they are positively contributing to the world.
- “If you want to deepen your relationship with the people closest to you, find a way to make a difference together.”
- Do you want to be surrounded by friends who lift you up, encourage you creatively, and share your values? Check out this episode to learn tactful ways to start attracting those kinds of relationships today!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
Remember, I’m not here to say what friendships are or have to be. My job as your coach is to say, well, how do we deepen them? And to deepen it, you’re going to generate more ideas. You’re going to share more goals and express more concerns. That’s what makes you actually an authentic person, an authentic striver. I don’t know you if I don’t know your ideas, your goals or your concerns, do I? I don’t know you. So if we want to go deeper, which is my job today, how do you have remarkable, long lasting, deep relationships? I got to know it. So for you I want you to write down ideas, goals, and concerns.
Your friends should be your greatest vehicle for brainstorming.
Let me tell you how to have greater friends. I really genuinely want you guys to write this down. I want you to learn to do this. Pick up the phone, call a friend and say this. And here, I can tell you the quality of friendships right now based on this statement. Believe it or not. Pick up the phone, call your friends and go, “Hey, can I get five minutes? I just want to brainstorm something with you.” I can determine the quality of your friendships with that statement.
1. Generate Ideas Together
When you’re in friendships and it’s not what we call a generative friendship, a generative friendship means we generate ideas together. It doesn’t mean they need to be experts. It doesn’t mean they need to be perfect. It doesn’t even mean they needed to get the topic. Friends talk things through with each other. We’re in a culture in the Western world where what we do is we complain together, but that’s not generative. That’s actually not additive, right? I learned that from Zig Ziglar, to listen to your friends. And what’s the tone? What are we talking about here?
2. Avoid Building ‘Complaint Circles’
And if you’re around a bunch of complainers and blamers all day long, you become that. And I was like, “Dang, that’s real.”
So I want you to write this phrase down, “Hey, can I brainstorm something with you?” I want you to hear about this because I do consider myself someone who has deep, awesome, incredible relationships. I feel very blessed about this. I do this all the time. I probably have15 of those conversations a week. I have friends who are like my “buddies”. I have friends at work. I have friends in my industry.
3. Share Ideas, Goals, and Concerns
I force myself throughout the week, when I have an idea, when I have a goal, when I have a concern, I write those down. When I have an idea, when I have a goal, when I have a concern, I don’t let those things live in my little head. Instead, to create relationships with others, I call and I say, “Hey, can I brainstorm with something you? Can I brainstorm on something with you? Sure, what’s up? Well, I’ve got this concern right now. Or you know what? I’ve got this idea, I just want to bounce it off. Or I’ve got this goal, I’m wondering if you’ve ever seen that or you’ve done it, or you know someone who has, I just want to share it.”
Idea, goal, concern. These are part of the parlance of a great friendship. And you think about it, a lot of us don’t have that. Now I know some of you will be like, “But I have a great friend and we don’t do that.” My job here isn’t to tell you that you can’t have great friends. I have great friends who are like my pina colada friends. I don’t know how many ideas we actually brainstorm with, half the time I don’t think there’s an idea in our head when we’re drinking a pina colada.
So listen, I’m not here to say every relationship has to be perfect. Maybe you’re my pina colada friend, we have a great time. We probably don’t generate about how to solve the climate crisis, okay? We’re not that deep. But if I want to deepen that relationship, great friends contribute something together. Your best friends at work weren’t just the party people. It was like, you felt like you were doing something together that made a difference. Contribution is when we serve together. We make impact together.
4. Volunteer Together
This is why I always begin every conversation and meeting new friends with getting out and volunteering, right?
Just like when you volunteer with other people, your spirits are aligned, you’re making a difference, it’s just unique.
I’d love for you to go down all your casual relationships and go, “How can I make a difference with her? How could he and I, or this group make some kind of impact?” Maybe we will build a school. Maybe we will paint a playground. Maybe we will serve at a soup kitchen. Maybe we go build this thing or weave this thing or get that thing done or raise this money together. Whatever it is, let’s go do something together of impact is the question.
I remember when I was in my early thirties, I saw this team. It was like five people. It’s like two guys, three girls. And every year they went away for Habitat For Humanity and they built a house somewhere. Every year they just did that. And I was like, that’s amazing you guys are so close to everything else. And then while we’re talking, and to me it was like, “Oh, this is a group of five.” And then it turned out, every year each of them made sure to bring two friends, and now this group was 300 people. It started out with literally five, they became 300 people who went every year! These 300 people went and mixed up and they would go around and build stuff together. I was like, that’s incredible, right? I don’t know about you, but some of my best friends came from service contributions, building, doing things together that made an impact. Like in my industry, some of my best friends in the industry, we collaborate to do something, to build something, to create something, makes a difference, right? That just feels amazing to me, I love that I really do love that.
5. Attend Acts of Service
What else? Well, I think for those of you who are really struggling to meet high quality people, I can’t recommend enough that you get involved with some local organizations that are nonprofit based, and you start attending more fundraisers, more acts of service. And I know some of you will go, “I don’t have anything. I don’t have money to contribute, or I don’t know what I want to do.” I don’t care. Go to a bunch of them and you’ll learn what you like. And I will also say this, I know I’ve been saying this for years. I beat a dead drum a little bit here. But when you go to a fundraiser or you go to a volunteer event, do you know who goes to those? Like you go to a black tie event, like a fundraiser as an example. Do you know who goes there? The most successful, high-achieving, positive, wealthy, influential people in that particular community. People who have something to give and in their spirit in their heart says, I play this role in this community where I’m going to make a difference here. Awesome. I mean, some of my best friends I’ve met throughout the years, I met either doing the work of contribution or literally on a nonprofit board or at a fundraiser.
But here’s the thing, whether you go do that or you don’t, the people who are closest to you, if you want to make a difference with them, if you want to deepen that relationship, find a way to make a difference together.
Go do something cool that contributes, go volunteer. I think if you really want the closest friendships imaginable, you go volunteer once a month or once a quarter. You don’t wait for it, you schedule it. I want you to be the friend that schedules the contribution, be that friend. Don’t hope that person comes into your life, you schedule, you’re that person who sets that up. You’re the person that gets them together. Because at some point they’ll take it over. In all of my greatest friendship circles, I tend to be the person who initiates it and we do something and then someone says I’ll do it the next time, I’m like great. Just do that. Acts of contribution together.