In an increasingly fragmented world of technological distraction we can easily lose track of some of the essential things that make a human life complete. As we live more and more of our life online it is easy to forget the crucial importance of investing in deep and valuable friendships. Since my recent accident I have been so blessed by the love of so many people and in this episode I need to talk with you about the value and necessity of investing in life-long friendships.

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Investing In People For a Full and Worthwhile Life

Well, hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you as always for The Daily Podcast . Hope you are doing well wherever you are on this magnificent big planet. I’ve had a good start to the day. Those following my rehab journey. Ah no, not that rehab. A rehab from the accident. I’m doing really well. Training well again now on the stationary bike, feeling much better every day. I still can’t get over the fact that I’m paying people to hurt me. I’m having these rehab sessions on both arms and you have to pay people money when they do this therapy on your arms and it’s like you give them money and they just hurt you physically. I mean if somebody gave you that much pain on the street, it would be a crime. But now I actually have to pay for the privilege but doing better. Each day has been just a little bit of progress and hoping to get somewhere back to where I used to be.

I’m seven, almost seven weeks past surgery now and I’m doing really well on the journey. So as always, thanks for all your encouragement and support. Listen, today I want to talk to you about another simple principle, but one that has been so important for me in recent weeks. I want to talk to you about the crucial importance of friendships and social support. This one really matters and you are all going to fall somewhere on a particular spectrum here. Some of us are going to be people who from the youngest age have always to surrounded ourselves with loads of great people and we make a lot of time for that. My mother is one of those people. She has this extraordinary network of wonderful friends and we can never basically get her to babysit, because she’s just always out. I mean, my mother is in her 70s and she’s just got probably the greatest social life of anybody I know and then the some of us that are always been more introverted and we sort of don’t tend to, I guess connect as frequently with people as we might know.

Here’s what I want to talk to you about. My thesis is that we’re becoming an extremely fragmented culture. A lot of that, ironically, has me on digital media releasing this podcast today. But so much of it’s driven by I guess the technological revolution that we’re living through. So many of us now have just been around technology so long that it’s sort of very normal for us. It’s worth remembering that the technologies we use are really very new in a human evolutionary construct. So the industrial revolution back in the 1860s it was phenomenal. I mean, before the industrial revolution so much of human work and community was built around where raising crops and small college-based industries and the industrial revolution massively changed that. There was this huge migration into cities and fragmentation of relationships and families and all that sort of stuff.

We’re living through something at least as big, if not bigger. We’re living through a technological revolution, which of course has no historical precedent at this scale. So there’s many benefits of that. I don’t want to say it’s all negative, but one of the drawbacks is this increasing fragmentation. I don’t know about you, but do you find that you text people more and more, you message them more and more? It might be WhatsApp, it might be Facebook Messenger, it might be any number of different platforms. But I find myself more and more writing these long messages to people rather than ringing them. And what I want to say to you in this message is through this journey of recovery. Since my accident, I’ve been incredibly blessed by the love and support of so many people.

It’s really taken me by surprise. I think before that I was quite self contained. I had young family and that’s very busy. I had all this other stuff happening so I saw people, I hung out with people, but I didn’t make it much of a priority. And then with the accidents, so many people supported me. Somebody just asked me yesterday what have been the big learnings and some of you have heard those on my recent podcasts, but one of the big ones has been the beauty of all this support. What I’m trying to say to you is that I think we all need to become much more deliberate about investing in our friendships. It’s easier when you’re younger, it gets harder when you’re older. I hear you. I know that’s true, but I think it’s really important that we understand just how crucial friendships are. And unless we invest in them, they don’t tend to develop.

We invest in our health and fitness, we go to gyms, we try and eat properly. We’ll invest in our careers, we’ll put time often into our own immediate family, but we often think we’ll see this person eventually or catch up occasionally. I’ve become very, very deliberate about this. So I’ve just started to ask, reach out more contact people more say, “Hey, it’d be great to see you.” And also just to receive people’s invitations more just to say yes more often. So I don’t know what stage you’re at in life at the moment, but I just want to encourage you, friendships matter. On your deathbed, I often say this to people that you’re never to lie on your deathbed saying to yourself, “If only I had spent more time at work.” You’re never going to say, “If only I’d been to the gym that extra time then my life would have meaning.” No. On your deathbed, what’s going to matter is the relationships in your life, your spirituality, your relationships, the contribution that you’ve made. Those things will be significant. But it’s funny that we live so much of our lives often disconnected from them. We live our lives very disconnected from the deep spiritual currents, from the deep relational currents that can shape our life.

So here’s your homework. Text someone today, ring someone today, make an a, you know, make a time to meet up. One of my good friends is going to pick me up tomorrow at 6:00 AM I can’t drive still since the accident and they’re going to take me out to catch up with a bunch of other friends. I’m just so damn grateful and I’m just so great. It’s been a real change for me. Just to really start to appreciate and connect with people. So who do you need to ring? Who do you need to message? Go for coffee, go for dinner. You’ve just got to make the effort. Sometimes you go, “I don’t really feel like it Jon, I’m so busy.” If you are so busy that you are not having rich relationships with people, something is broken and you go, “But you don’t understand my life.” Well, no I don’t. But I do understand that if we’re not connecting with people, then something’s really wrong.

So that’s your homework. Make the call, reach out to someone, invest in people, invest in friendships. Who haven’t you seen for awhile? It’s just such a digital culture. And I was reading Douglas Murray’s book yesterday and he’s talking about that so much of our divisive culture, our combative social media culture is simply because we’re not actually seeing each other face to face and actually listening to each other. And actually just hearing somebody’s opinion. We’re just spending less and less time physically with each other and we need to start to get back on top of that. All right, I’m going to stop now because I’ll go forever with this. All right. Come and follow me on Instagram, jonathandoyle47, Facebook, The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. Please make sure you’ve subscribed and please share this with people.

Friends, the best is ahead. I’m praying for you. I hope if you’re listening to this kind of podcast, that you are aware that we’re allowed to be happy, that life can get better, that we can have rich and meaningful relationships, and we can make a contribution to the world while we’re here. That’s the essence of this podcast. So whatever you’re struggling with, whatever is tough for you right now, press on. Take the small steps, build friendships, connect with people. My name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been The Daily Podcast and I’ll have another message for you tomorrow.