I want to let you in on a secret to living a really big life. Are you ready? If you want to live truly big you must have some really interesting, outside of the box, unusual, eccentric, friends in your life. I am talking about people who are serious characters. In my life I have been fortunate to have some friends who fit that description and I promise you they bring an element of bigness to my life I cannot get anywhere else. Sadly many can’t handle friendship with these weird or different kinds of people. Some prefer their friends to be suave, socially acceptable and easily interchangeable with others. My eccentric friends do not fit into that mold. They are truly originals. Learning to embrace them as friends has been a huge benefit to me.
One of my eccentric outside of the box friends is a man named Dan. He is in his 60’s. He works providing humanitarian aid to some of the most troubled places on the planet. He has been in almost every country in the world. He has been to Russia over 100 times. I have watched him create documents with spy like precision that allowed him to get past security checkpoints where corrupt police wanted to prevent aid workers from entering a country. Dan knows the ins and outs of getting things done on a shoestring better than anyone I have ever known. He knows how to survive in the hardest of places. His ability to deliver goods to hurting people is legend. He is a walking, talking travel guide. He is amazing……and he is weird. Because he is so mission minded he is difficult to understand sometimes. He is an original. He is loud. He can be bull headed. He has made more mistakes in life that most have. But he also has tried and succeeded at bigger things than most can even imagine. He lives the big life every day. He is much more comfortable living in a hut in west Africa than he is being awarded for his humanitarian efforts at a black tie dinner on the island of Cyprus. He is colorful. He has swagger. He loves and serves in a big way. He can’t be compared to anyone else I know.
My life has been deeply enriched because of my friendship with Dan. He has opened my eyes to parts of the world and incredible people I would have never known apart from him. He is eccentric for sure. Yet above all of that, he has been a true friend to me in good times and bad. Don’t be afraid of those who are really different. Friendships with the unusual ones often is exactly what you need to make your life colorful and big.