Social Bankruptcy

assorted thoughts from Pavlina:

[ ]  I thought about the kinds of friends I want to keep in my life, as well as new friends I’d like to attract. These include people with qualities and values such as:

  1. Freedom – people who maintain free and flexible lifestyles and have control over their schedules (can’t connect with people who aren’t available)
  2. Self-Sufficiency – high-functioning people who can take care of themselves (not needy, clingy, or high maintenance)
  3. Happiness – people who are generally happy and fulfilled with their lives
  4. Growth – people who value growth above security (security-minded people are very boring)
  5. Courage – people who seek to identify and face their fears; people who are following their “path with a heart”
  6. Offbeat – people whom others might label as weird, quirky, or unusual (I like social rebels; the social conformists don’t seem particularly sane)

There are lots of people in my life who will claim to value these qualities, but not as many can claim to be living them. People who are living up to their values tend to have a certain peacefulness about them that’s a joy to connect with.

[ ]  It’s like being in a job you don’t like, but you’re still unsure about what you might do instead or how to make it work. You have to quit the old job first, break free of its distractions and conditioning effects, and take some reflective time to get in touch with what you’ve learned and what you want. Then you can take steps to create something new. There may be some negative side effects to this approach, but they’re worth it. Staying stuck in a no-win situation is worse.

[ ] As I allow myself to explore this delightfully peaceful space of fresh possibilities, I’m already noticing new doors opening. Part of me wants to dive in and explore some of them, while another part of me wants to hold off an enjoy the silence a bit longer. I’m sure I’ll begin to explore some of those alternative paths soon enough, but the most important thing for me right now is to explore in an unattached, noncommittal way. I want to experience a social life where each relationship feels like a fresh choice made anew, not an obligation to remain loyal to the past.

When it’s obvious that some part of your life isn’t working, stop. Release what isn’t working. Then choose another path. People will squawk at you, but you’ll be happier on the other side.


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