Does Working Hard And Success Make You Lose Friends?
Growing up I was a mixed bag of optimistic, shy, and a people person all in one. Technically I am still that way, but I turned the dial down on the shyness quite a bit. One thing that I always thought would come easy was making friends. And I was right. While everyone around me was doing anything just to be noticed or talking so much that it seemed like they never listened... quiet nerd Kenon was the fly on the wall until I thought what I had to say was of value to the conversations.
Fast forward to grown adult Kenon with a small goatee, deeper voice, and things are pretty much the same. Except for one thing that has a minor change in it... my optimism in the friends department.
Getting to this point now to where I can even write this blog post and people around the world read it is a culmination of hard work over the years. There's something about working hard, achieving the goals and dreams I set up for myself, and simply staying out of harms way in a violent society today that keeps me at peace. Of course in my early 20s I partied and did the whole club scene thing, but that's pretty much out of my system (excluding special occasions).
I have noticed over the years even when I was working in restaurants putting in 12+ hour days that I was starting to lose friends. I questioned myself a lot as to why this was happen and I wasn't doing anything bad to them.
Turns out that not being the readily available person to bar crawl or waste money at events I had no interest in when they wanted meant that I was not a good friend. For the most part when I had days off from the restaurant days I spent it working on my photography and journalism (and now it has paid off).
I always wondered why many celebrities would get backlash for not going back to their hometown and hanging out with the same people they grew up with. Were they "too good" for their high school friends? Were they arrogant in their social stature now? The answer to those questions are no.
Losing friends didn't happen because of an over-inflated ego or arrogance, they [celebrities] simply chose to chase their dreams and goals way harder than the average person.
Once I started taking my professions seriously I noticed a major change in my group of friends. A few years ago I would joke around and say that about 70% of my friends in real life and on social media networks were photographers, journalists, chefs, and entrepreneurs. Now I would assume with no sarcasm that about 90%-95% of my friends are all within the same professions as I am in.
It took some time for me to rally this, but eventually it clicked in my mind. Being a hard worker to the point that anything and every situation such as vacation could turn into an opportunity of doing my passions was (and still is) amazing to me. For the sake of speaking in general I say "work" a lot here, but in reality I live my life by the timeless mantra that my entrepreneurship teacher Mr. Tim Dorian always told me.
"If you do what you love, then you will never work a day in your life."
So am I ashamed that working hard and the success that I have now make me lose some friends? No. There is not one guilty-feeling bone in my body at this point. The friends that I did lose were people that didn't fit the type of friends that would consistently push me to become better at my passions. Ironically enough, the people/friends that share the same passion as you are usually the people that support you and your work the most.
Those fallen friends were pretty contempt in just being average and doing mediocre things. I don't have any extreme bad blood or anything with a vast majority of those individuals... I just don't have any worries in my mind about them.
What do you think about all of this? Have you lost friends in the midst of chasing/achieving your dreams and goals? Are a majority/all of your friends that you surround yourself with mutually interested in your passions/careers?