How to Identify the Top 25 People In Your Immediate Circle and Why This Matters
In the digital age, making friends is easier than it has ever been with social media allowing for instant and ongoing connections with a virtually limitless number of people. On Facebook alone, today’s average user has more than 300 friends.
As with most things, however, quantity does not necessarily translate to quality.
“How many friends should you have?” asks Mark Lacek, author of the book “So, Who’s In Your Circle?” and creator of the My-Circle app. “It is something you need to consider if you want to build bonds with your friends that are stronger than ever and walk through this crazy and exciting life together. The digital age calls us to be a mile wide and an inch deep when it comes to friendships. But focus matters.”
Mark’s philosophy regarding friendship is that loyal friends are the only kinds of friends you want in your life. He also knows that having and enjoying loyal friendships takes some work. His book provides a roadmap for whittling down the ever-growing “friends list” we have built on social media to create a more manageable and satisfying personal social network.
“My goal in authoring my book is to help people intentionally, efficiently, and effectively determine how many of their friends can reasonably fit into their lives,” Mark says. “Our lives are so busy that it is a challenge to make time for friendships. We need a strategy for optimizing our time with friends and building deeper relationships with the ones who matter most.”
Optimizing your circle of friends
When it comes to friendships, many people have an inner circle. These are your “besties.” They are typically the two to five people who you cannot imagine doing life without.
Your inner circle is important, but it should not represent the totality of your friendships. Right outside of that inner circle should be a group of great friends who have won your trust, loyalty, and respect. Mark calls these people “My 25” and recommends an intentional approach to identifying who they are.
“If you are blessed with a broad array of friends, you know that they are true gold in life,” Mark says. “But we are not good at, nor have we typically given much thought to, organizing our friends. What can we do that will allow us to optimize our friendships over the course of our lives?”
Mark offers the following steps in his book for identifying those who would rank as our top 25 friends:
- For those who work outside the home, begin by thinking about relationships with those whom you see most often. Close friends often are found in this group. However, spending a lot of time with someone does not automatically make them a close friend. You might log a lot of hours with a coworker during the day but never connect with that person outside of work. Those types of relationships probably would not qualify as one of your top 25 friendships.
- Think of the friends you turn to when you have a problem and need help or advice. These are probably the people that you feel you can count on. You trust what they have to say and you respect them.
- Think of the people who feel close to you even though they are far away geographically. If you have maintained a friendship with someone who lives several states away, that is a good indicator that they are a close friend.
- Look at the lists of calls and texts on your phone or direct messages in your social media accounts. They provide a great gauge of the people who matter in our lives. That is not to say that your closest friends are those with whom you communicate most often; however, if you rarely place a call or send a text to someone, they probably will not rank among your top 25 friends.
Being intentional about friendships
The digital age has made it easier to have an abundance of friends, though it still hasn’t helped when it comes to authenticity in relationships. To find true happiness in our friendships, it is critical that we identify who our true friends are and focus our time and energy on them.
“There are so many studies that prove the value of having friends,” says Mark. “It isn’t only that they’re good for your health, which they are, and enrich your life, which they do, but also that they help you to become your best self and the person you were meant to be.”
Sustainable Animal Management Practices for Small Farms: Minimizing Environmental Impact and Maximizing Profits
Small farms play a vital role in our food system, providing locally-grown produce and meat to communities across the country. However, these farms face challenges in terms of sustainable animal management, as they may lack the resources and infrastructure of larger operations. In this article, we will discuss some sustainable animal management practices that small farms can adopt to minimize their environmental impact and maximize their profits.
Implementing a Rotational Grazing System
One issue that small farms may face is managing the waste produced by their livestock. Manure and other by-products can contribute to air and water pollution if not properly managed. One strategy for addressing this issue is to implement a rotational grazing system. This involves dividing a pasture into several smaller sections and rotating the livestock between them. This allows the animals to graze on fresh grass while also allowing the grass to recover and reducing the amount of manure in any one area. The benefits of this system include improved soil health, increased biodiversity, and reduced need for chemical fertilizers.
Using Natural Remedies and Preventative Measures
Another sustainable animal management practice for small farms is to use natural remedies and preventative measures to reduce the need for antibiotics and other medications. For example, probiotics and essential oils can be used to promote gut health in livestock, while natural fly repellents can help keep pests at bay. This not only reduces the use of antibiotics and other chemicals but can also improve the overall health and well-being of the animals. Moreover, animals that are raised naturally and without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones may fetch higher prices in the market.
Investing in Efficient Infrastructure
In terms of infrastructure, small farms can benefit from investing in equipment and facilities that are designed to be efficient and low impact. For example, a cattle gate system can be used to manage the movement of livestock between pastures without the need for manual labor. This system involves a series of gates and fences that can be opened and closed remotely, allowing the farmer to easily move the animals to different areas of the farm. This reduces the amount of time and energy required to manage the livestock, while also minimizing the risk of injury to both the animals and the farmer. Similarly, investing in solar-powered water pumps, energy-efficient lighting, and eco-friendly insulation can help reduce the farm’s energy costs and carbon footprint.
Collaborating with Other Farmers
Small farmers can also benefit from networking with other farmers and industry professionals to share knowledge and resources. This can include attending workshops and conferences, joining farmer networks and associations, and connecting with other farmers online. By working together and sharing ideas, small farmers can learn from each other and develop sustainable animal management practices that are tailored to their specific needs and resources. Moreover, collaborating with other farmers can help small farms gain access to new markets, shared resources such as equipment, and increased bargaining power with suppliers and buyers.
In conclusion, sustainable animal management practices are crucial for small farms to minimize their environmental impact and maximize their profits. By implementing strategies such as rotational grazing, natural remedies, efficient infrastructure, and networking with other farmers, small farms can thrive while also contributing to a more sustainable and resilient food system. And with tools like the cattle gate system, small farmers can manage their livestock with ease and efficiency, allowing them to focus on what really matters: growing healthy, happy animals and producing high-quality, locally grown food.
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