Don't Settle For Less

By Kim Evensen

22.10.07

by Kim EvensenFounder of Brothers

Don't Settle For Less

Here is the painful reality: we will find ourselves defined by the average if we do not choose to defy the odds. Odds are that you and I will fall at the average. That's why it's called the average. It's where most of us live. To be above average demands a choice. (Erwin McManus, "The Last Arrow")
 When I started this movement, I really wanted men to realise more of how life-giving and inspiring male bonding could be. I have experienced and seen way too many shallow hang-outs among men in my life. Too many men have settled for the 'average friendship' or just a beer on the bar with the boys. This stirred me to take action. Erwin McManus says in in his book that if you want a life that is above average, then you need to make a choice. I really think this applies to friendship as well. I've said and written this down before, but I'll write it again: 'If we as men don't decide how we want our male friendships to look like, someone else will gladly do it for us.' I believe there is unused and unseen potential in all our friendships (including my own). The question is: am I willing to do something about it? 
To get an 'above average friendship', you have to make a choice. And your actions have to reflect that choice.
If you want a plant to grow, you need to give it water. You need to make sure that it's in the right environment and gets everything it needs to survive. The same it is with friendship. You need to take care of it and nourish it. You need to change things a bit up if it doesn't grow, shake things up if it becomes a bit stale. One day, my best mate and I had a little argument. In the middle of the argument, these words came out of his mouth: 'Kim, I don't feel like our friendship bears any fruit right now. It's neither benefiting me or you.'At first I got a bit hurt. But what he told me, was actually a healthy observation - something that needed to be talked about. I breathed in, and acknowledged his concern. After we had chatted about the problem, we felt much better. We decided to together work on the things that made our friendship a bit stagnant. By doing this, we sat our friendship up for a win. And it has been the most enriching friendship in my life, by far. Hiding or ignoring an issue never fixes it. So when you see that something's not working quite right in a friendship, talk about it. And that's exactly why me and my mate chose to deal with the issue, instead of pretending that it wasn't even there, and letting the issue deteriorate a friendship we both highly valued. Genuine friendships are beautiful. To be loved and wanted for who you are is a priceless gift. You can laugh, be silly and have fun in one moment, and pour out your hearts to one another in the next. But a genuine friendship requires an everyday choice to keep it vibrant and alive. You will have to sacrifice time and energy. You will have to feel a little bit uncomfortable at times. You will sometimes have to love when you don't feel like it, and lay down your own agenda for the sake of the other. Yes, genuine friendships require work and careful attention. But what you'll get in return is worth it all, and more. I believe we all can invest more time and energy into our friendships. There's always more potential.Finishing off, I'd like to share this one important principle I live by You reap what you sow.- So what kind of friendships do you want? Do you want to settle for what most people say a friendship between men should look like  - or rise above the average and reach for something way better? The choice is yours.

Don't Settle For Less

By Kim Evensen

22.10.07

by Kim EvensenFounder of Brothers

Don't Settle For Less

Here is the painful reality: we will find ourselves defined by the average if we do not choose to defy the odds. Odds are that you and I will fall at the average. That's why it's called the average. It's where most of us live. To be above average demands a choice. (Erwin McManus, "The Last Arrow")
 When I started this movement, I really wanted men to realise more of how life-giving and inspiring male bonding could be. I have experienced and seen way too many shallow hang-outs among men in my life. Too many men have settled for the 'average friendship' or just a beer on the bar with the boys. This stirred me to take action. Erwin McManus says in in his book that if you want a life that is above average, then you need to make a choice. I really think this applies to friendship as well. I've said and written this down before, but I'll write it again: 'If we as men don't decide how we want our male friendships to look like, someone else will gladly do it for us.' I believe there is unused and unseen potential in all our friendships (including my own). The question is: am I willing to do something about it? 
To get an 'above average friendship', you have to make a choice. And your actions have to reflect that choice.
If you want a plant to grow, you need to give it water. You need to make sure that it's in the right environment and gets everything it needs to survive. The same it is with friendship. You need to take care of it and nourish it. You need to change things a bit up if it doesn't grow, shake things up if it becomes a bit stale. One day, my best mate and I had a little argument. In the middle of the argument, these words came out of his mouth: 'Kim, I don't feel like our friendship bears any fruit right now. It's neither benefiting me or you.'At first I got a bit hurt. But what he told me, was actually a healthy observation - something that needed to be talked about. I breathed in, and acknowledged his concern. After we had chatted about the problem, we felt much better. We decided to together work on the things that made our friendship a bit stagnant. By doing this, we sat our friendship up for a win. And it has been the most enriching friendship in my life, by far. Hiding or ignoring an issue never fixes it. So when you see that something's not working quite right in a friendship, talk about it. And that's exactly why me and my mate chose to deal with the issue, instead of pretending that it wasn't even there, and letting the issue deteriorate a friendship we both highly valued. Genuine friendships are beautiful. To be loved and wanted for who you are is a priceless gift. You can laugh, be silly and have fun in one moment, and pour out your hearts to one another in the next. But a genuine friendship requires an everyday choice to keep it vibrant and alive. You will have to sacrifice time and energy. You will have to feel a little bit uncomfortable at times. You will sometimes have to love when you don't feel like it, and lay down your own agenda for the sake of the other. Yes, genuine friendships require work and careful attention. But what you'll get in return is worth it all, and more. I believe we all can invest more time and energy into our friendships. There's always more potential.Finishing off, I'd like to share this one important principle I live by You reap what you sow.- So what kind of friendships do you want? Do you want to settle for what most people say a friendship between men should look like  - or rise above the average and reach for something way better? The choice is yours.