Yes Man & Frenemies

Hello all! Man what a week. I think I was hyperaware of my observations this week, but in order to keep a 1 post/week average and not write TOO much each week, I’ll stick to two observations:

Observation #1: Be more like Jim Carrey in Yes Man. SAY YES!

In the past week, I went skiing in Tahoe with awesome snow conditions, dined at several new restaurants, and took a train ride along the coast of California down to Santa Barbara where it was 80 degrees the entire weekend. I’ve lived here my whole life and I’m still discovering new places (That was my first time to Santa Barbara, I still haven’t been to Tomales Bay, etc.) While it is overwhelming in that you could spend several years in San Francisco alone and not experience it all, I’ve found that just by saying “Yes” more often, you’ll discover more places and create longstanding memories than you would by saying “No”.

Example: My friend a few weeks ago asked me to take a day trip up to Kirkwood on Sunday. I definitely didn’t want to get up at 5am on a Sunday, while sick, and drive 3–4 hours up to Kirkwood. But, knowing the ski conditions were great and that I hadn’t seen my friend in a while, I decided to say yes. The drive up was gorgeous — I had never been to Kirkwood so the route was new to me. The sunrise was beautiful. AND even though we were on the mountain for just 3 hours, I decided I would do a similar trip 2 weeks later with 2 other friends to Bear Valley, another mountain I had never visited. We started driving at 5am and saw the moon in a beautiful orange color with Venus right next to it…something you’ll never see even if you wake up at 7am. All of this was possible because I said yes to an adventure, an adventure part of me didn’t want to do out of laziness.

Now, is this sustainable? Probably not. I was exhausted after both of these trips. Even Jim Carrey in Yes Man learns that you can’t say “Yes” to EVERYTHING. But I saw parts of California I had never seen before, engaged in lively conversations, learning more about my friends. I’d challenge all of us that next time one of our friends asks us to go on an adventure, we don’t worry as much about the exhaustion the next day (unless you have a major presentation to give or test to take), but instead, say YES!

Observation #2: Do not waste time with Frenemies.

I was listening to the Motley Fool podcast the other day, and they interviewed Adam Grant on his book “How Non-Conformists Move the World”. While I don’t remember all of the interview, something stuck out to me that I’ll never forget: Frenemies are the worst type of relationship that you can have. Friends will always be there for you and you honestly enjoy their company. Enemies aren’t fun, but you also don’t go out of your way to talk to them. You avoid them and don’t think much of them. Frenemies, on the other hand, detract from your overall wellbeing. You stress a lot about your relationship with these people, since you enjoy hanging out with them but also don’t know what they say behind your back, what they think of you, etc.

This resonated a lot with me. I love my core friends. A lot of these friends come from different backgrounds or social groups, so often times I hang out just 1:1 or in small groups vs. having a group of 10–15 friends that I spend time with regularly. This means I bounce around a lot, having dinner with one friend on a Friday night, then playing golf with another friend on Saturday morning. Some of these core friends end up falling off over time — nothing drastic really happens, but I stop being a priority in his/her life due to other events in life happening.

Unfortunately, it’s with these friends that I end up wasting a lot of calories. I’ll reach out week after week: “what are you up to this weekend?” and I generally get the same answer: “busy” or “not much”. There is no real effort to maintain a relationship, especially no effort to proactively reach out to me. And that’s fine! (This should be my mindset.) There is no reason to try and spend time with “friends” who don’t show too much care in my life. We all have plenty of people in our lives who care about us and want to hear about how we are doing — what if instead of reaching out to these frenemies, I texted my dad instead? Or called my cousin or my uncle or even a close friend. We all know who these frenemies are in our lives, and they end up taking too much mindshare in our brains, especially over people we should care more about.

That’s not to say we should turn our frenemies into enemies, but rather, let’s invest more time in our friends where there is that two way street. This will ideally lead to a more fulfilled life (at least that’s what I’m telling myself!).

Two observations based on my past week. Any thoughts or comments are always much appreciated!