Consider yourself fortunate if you have a friend who is a "A Voice of Reason" when challenges emerge, advice is needed or temptations arise.
I wonder how many of us have a friend we can turn to for wise, bold or dependable counsel (a voice of reason) on a variety of life issues - a friend that gives you sound advice ... advice that you might not want to hear.
I have several friends who have been and still are my voices of reason. Even though I have exhibited responsible behavior throughout my life, I occasionally need a voice to tell me the truth about a situation (business or personal), give me an opinion on a subject/friendship or be bold enough to step in when my words or actions may be inappropriate.
Three of many "voice" moments are below:
1) I was seriously considering taking a job that had many perks yet presented some challenges that could possibly affect the rest of my career. A voice of reason from Washington, DC explained to me in great detail why I should think about NOT taking the job. I am thankful I didn't as it wouldn't have been a wise career move.
2) In the early 1990's, I was impatient and rude with a dry cleaning employee and my friend Sean scolded me on the spot. He knew my actions weren't fair and unbecoming of me. That moment changed my patience level immensely. After years of hard work and discipline, I am proud of my patient nature today.
3) When I was single, I dated a woman for less than 6 months who was unlike any of the women I had dated previously. The relationship was a bit out of my comfort zone although I was enjoying it. One night in a restaurant, a good friend whispered in my ear (with the woman nearby), "You know that you won't marry her". His words were unexpected but had a profound impact on me as deep down I knew that myself yet hearing it from a friend made me think about the relationship in a different perspective. Not long after our conversation, I ended the relationship which was a very good thing.
In addition, I have been a voice of reason for several friends. The advice I give or am asked to give is on subjects including but not limited to relationships/marriage, finances, emotion, health, volunteering and responsible behavior.
A) I have a wonderful friend who is married to a dynamic man yet it might not have happened if it wasn't for her voices of reason. I was one of those voices and told her in a direct manner what I thought of her boyfriend (high praise) and that she probably wouldn't find anyone more suitable for her. I never told her what to do regarding marriage but I did give her valuable advice so that she could make the best decision for her future. The couple is doing extremely well and is one of the happier couples I know.
B) Another friend succeeded famously when he boldly moved to Europe in the early 1990's yet lost his way (with irresponsible behavior) when he tried to tackle the Big Apple during the last decade. He had many opportunities to make a breakthrough in New York City (NYC) yet always fell flat. I (and others) advised him to leave NYC years ago but the city was too intoxicating for him and the downward spiral continued. He finally left Manhattan this past year and his voices of reason (me included) played an invaluable part in making him see the light.
C) A close friend was frustrated with business in Stockholm, Sweden as he is aggressive and entrepreneurial. Even though he is a Swede, there are other cities much better for his type of spirit and energy. He asked what I thought of his moving to another European city. I embraced his desire wholeheartedly and he was appreciative of my voice. He had a great experience in his new city.
Whether one is a famous athlete, a woman CEO or common man, it is prudent to have at least one voice of reason to help guide you through the complex, tempting or ambiguous journey of life. Maybe the life of Tiger Wood's could have been more responsible if he had a voice of reason. Maybe he had one but chose not to listen. Who knows? What I do know is that it is usually beneficial if you have a consistent voice to talk with and listen to about life situations - someone who truly cares about you and your well being.
I am grateful for my voices of reason as my life could have been very different if I didn't have those friends - voices I hold in high regard, respect and have my best interests in mind.
Who is your voice of reason?
Have a wonderful 2010 and Happy Gswede Sunday!
The pool in sunny Florida was relaxing during the holidays.