Focus on what is under your control
If you want a friend, be a friend. There is never any guarantee. However, if you don’t put anything in a friendship, it is sure that the friendship will never grow.
Keep in mind that friendships take time. The Bible says that a man who has too many friends “will soon come to ruin,” Proverbs 18:24. Why is it? Because too much time with too many friends doesn’t give you the time you need to work, spend time with your family, do your schoolwork, work in your life, and mind your business. If a person has 10 or 20 friends to spend time with every week or even every month, they will end up neglecting their family or career.
The key is balance. Invest in people with your time and life and some will come back to you from others. Sometimes that’s not the case, which is why you need to be realistic in building your network of friends and relationships.
Many years ago a potential student called to enroll in our school and asked, “If I enroll in this school, will I get anything out of it?” I said, “If you put nothing in it, you won’t get nothing out of it.” If you put in a lot, you will get a lot out of it. The man registered and became a quorum president.
Growing up, I remember my loved ones being hard workers. Some of them have raised amazing gardens, while keeping their property clean and tidy. It took work for them, but they were proud of their home and the way they lived their lives. They have invested a lot in their place of residence and it shows.
If you put a lot into something, it shows. Your marriage, your job, your children, your career and your life in general. School work will reflect your effort. If you put money into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401k or 403b each month, your wealth will eventually grow and reflect your efforts. Social Security income checks reflect years worked and the amount paid into the system.
However, anyone can put a lot into something without being successful. Businesses, marriages and careers have failed or even failed even though people have invested everything. Often times, there are other factors beyond our control that all work and concentration will not resolve or overcome. You cannot control what others can or cannot do that will impact your life’s work and ambitions.
Having said that, we must remember the principle of harvesting and sowing. If you want a good garden, you have to sow and take care of the garden. Neglecting the garden is a sure path to failure.
Important aspects of relationships, wealth, health, career success and more are focus and wise investment. The more you sow, the more you will reap. You can’t control all of life’s circumstances and influencers, but you can control what you do.
Dr Glenn Mollette is an author and his column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.