Friendship may be worth restructuring your life over …

Executives often consider it a badge of honor to boast they are so busy with their work they have little time for anything else in their lives.

Even non-executives complain they are so busy with work they have little time for anything else in their lives.

Yet, both busy executives and the busy common guy will often give intellectual assent to the idea that quality relationships, especially the friendships they have, are far more important than the work they do.

And that’s where it all stops.

Many people agree that rich friendships are a precious part of life, but we routinely fail to make time for them or to nurture our friendships with a significant priority or sincere commitment. The result is that we often fail to realize the quality of friendships we could have.

A good example is one of a guy I connected with immediately when we met. He’s a busy executive, and lives life on the edge of being a leader in the church. He does just enough to think of himself as being influential in his church, but not enough to draw him too far away from his work.

We connected so well we both knew this could be one of those close friendships that enriched our lives. But he never would step far enough away from his work to make it happen. He would do enough to maintain a connection, but work was always the excuse for a barrier to deep friendship to remain in place.

We’re still friends, but the friendship isn’t as full or rich as it could be.

We’ve all heard it said that when any of us find ourselves on our deathbeds, we won’t be wishing we spent more time at work, we’ll be thinking of the important relationships in our lives. That’s where we’ll discover some real regrets.

Let me suggest instead of living a life where the true measure when in our dying days isn’t one of friendships that could have been, but instead is one of a life deeply marked by true, committed friendships.

“That sounds nice, but I just don’t have time for that!” is how many would respond.

I would say the real value of life is one of doing what it takes to MAKE time to forge those kinds of relationships. That might require re-evaluating — and possibly re-valuing — your significant commitments, even to the point of looking at the business you choose to work for, and other ways you choose to live.

Letting your career determine the quality of your relationships in your life is letting the tail wag the dog, and sets you up for a sour end to this life. To affect the quality of your life, you must determine what is important, and structure everything else around that. Instead, so many of us think our jobs are priority one, and the demands of our work will determine what’s left of us to give to God, others, and the rest of the world.

Tail-wagging-the-dog thinking.

Why not change it and pursue the richness of life you really could have?