F – Fight for you
          R – Respect you
          I – Include you
          E – Encourage you
          N – Need you
          D – Deserve you
          S – Stands by you

In this edition of our Win to Last Ideas, let me start with this important quote by Bamidele Onibalusi, one of the most successful bloggers in Nigeria, “As writers what we write can save lives, grow businesses and change lives…what we do is having a real impact on the world.”

Friendship is one of the basic things we shouldn’t take for granted. Many people have been seriously slowed down, had their dreams aborted or even had their lives wrecked because of the mistake they made in the choice of their friends.

Dr. Isaiah Hankel writes that there is scientific proof that 50 percent of our friends are fake. He highlighted a study done by University of Tel Aviv and MIT that showed that though 95 percent of participants thought that their relationships were reciprocal, it was found out that only about 50 percent of friends were reciprocal. Meaning that many of the friends we believe that they are our closest and best friends have “unidirectional” instead of “bidirectional” relationship. They never reciprocate our love and care.

Dr. Hankel explains this to signify that even some of our “best” friends don’t want what is good for us. Some of our best friends, therefore, are misjudged choices we made.

How then can we choose friends that are best and add core value to our lives?

(1) The primary requirement for finding a true and dependable friend is to habitually show yourself as one. It was Thomas Aquinas who said that “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”

(2) Associate with habitually positive friends. They always see something good in you; always appropriately rate your potential; always believe that you can progress with your vision; always encourage you to move on, and so on.

(3) True friends are unconditional. They are always there for you even when it is not convenient, always supportive of you even when it is at a price they have to pay.  

(4) Real friends always challenge you to do more. They make you stretch to pursue the dream, start or grow the business, or accomplish the task. Henry Ford said, “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”

(5) Your best friend will always have fair and honest financial dealings with you. This point is very important. Any “friend” that can’t keep financial promises with you, often tricks you or tells you lies when it comes to money, is fake.

(6) Real friends will never betray you. The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies; it always comes from your friends.

Best friends are those ones that add more value to your life. With them you discover that you are better, and have made more progress than you had made before you met them.

Tom Rath in Vital Friends writes that true friendship will benefit you in many important ways namely, if your friends are healthy, you are 5 times more likely to be healthy and if you have a friend that is good at work, you are 7 times more likely to be engaged in your job. True friendship is a commitment to get along with someone in the spirit of making him or her think better, know more, do more, and keep growing.

If a friend is a consistent minus to your life, then you may need to review that relationship. Sentimentally keeping a relationship that is not adding core value to your life may destroy your destiny. Great people make great choices of friends and associations.