Did you know today is the International Day of Friendship?

Timeanddate.com explain that “In 2011, the UN proclaimed the International Day of Friendship with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, and cultures can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. The UN wanted for the day to involve young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.”

In Martin Seligman’s book Flourish he says “There is no denying the profound influences that positive relationships or their absence have on well-being.”

How are you honouring and nurturing the relationships that you have in your personal and business life?

Sure, not all relationships would classify as ‘friendships’, however, on this Intentional Day of Friendship you can draw on science to help you not only increase the intentional trust you create within your friendships, but through intentional acts of friendship, help increase the overall sense of well-being in your friends.

The good news, although it oughtn’t be the driving reason why you decide to do intentional acts of friendship, science shows that it will increase your own overall sense of well-being in your personal and business life when you invest some intentional mindful moments on the people you interact with – and especially with those you are blessed with to be in loving relationships.

3 things to do on this International Day of Friendship

1. Make a list of your closest friends – this helps bring each of the friendships to top of mind for you and sparks the neural connections that turn your thoughts into both positive emotional and physical feelings – making the list, as simple as it sounds, will help you feel more positive.

2. Write and send a personal note to say how much you’re grateful for their friendship (don’t post this on social media… this is between you and them personally). An ever growing range of scientific research studies validate that gratitude is one of the strongest predictors of high levels of well-being. And apart from that, the wonderfully instructive children’s song “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” also applies here – if you’ve got a friend and you’re aware of it, let them know how grateful you are for that friendship… don’t leave it to chance.

3. Do something nice for your friends that they don’t expect. The research on the reciprocal benefits of performing acts of kindness don’t really need explanation – it just makes sense… and why not use this International Day of Friendship to remind you to take action that demonstrates how grateful you are for the friendships you have. This doesn’t mean you need to spend money – however, if you choose to, the research also suggests don’t buy ‘things’ for your friends, buy ‘experiences’ that you can share. What a great reason to shout your friends to a dinner or to have them over for a barbeque… for no other reason but to say ‘how good is it that we get to share living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life.’

I’m blessed that Liz is first and foremost my best friend, as well as my wife of almost 30 years, mother to our children and business partner for almost 20 years. I’m convinced that being clear on our intention for each other, our gratitude and never taking for granted how blessed we are to have such a loving relationship, has been key to our long term friendship.

What about you?

How clear are you on the intentions you have for your friends in your relationships?
Unless we’re clear on our intentions for others, we can never be clear on our intentional promises, and so can never be really clear on our intentional actions that will cause us to have intentional results that live up to our promises.

Trust is key. We don’t get trust – we earn it. And we earn trust by delivering on intentional results, through committing to intentional actions, that fulfil our intentional promises because we’ve been clear from the outset of our intentions.

Trust matters. Intention matters. Friends matter.

From both Liz and I, happy International Friendship Day to all our on-line community of friends.