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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.”

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Sara Zaimi Vies for Miss NJ Crown




The Miss NJ competition seeks a leader, a role model who inspires with both brains and heart. Enter Sara Zaimi, a trailblazing pharmacist with a Doctorate (PharmD) whose passion for women’s health and community empowerment burns brightly.

A brush with mortality at a young age – chest pain and a concerning blood test – ignited a fire in Sara. Witnessing the unwavering spirit of women battling cancer in the oncology ward solidified her desire to make a difference. It was her mother’s unwavering support, the way she held her hand through fear and doubt, that propelled Sara to answer that call. Overcoming self-doubt and depression, she embarked on a remarkable academic journey, graduating with her PharmD at the prestigious Rutgers University at the early age of 23, placing her among the top 10% of her class.

As a first-generation Algerian American, she’s a testament to the power of hard work and perseverance. Her academic achievements, including valedictorian honors and consistent Dean’s List placements, stand as a testament. This translates further into her successful business, where she champions women’s health awareness. Her impact extends far beyond the pharmacy walls. Sara dedicates her time to NJ Sisterhood, empowering young women and inner-city communities. Her fluency in Spanish further highlights her commitment to inclusivity and understanding.

Driven by personal experience and empathy, Sara aims to leverage the Miss NJ platform to tackle critical women’s health issues. From early detection of breast cancer to advocating for increased resources, she seeks to empower women to take charge of their health. Her work with NJ Sisterhood complements this mission, focusing on projects that empower women and address their specific needs. Her advocacy includes promoting 3D areola tattooing for breast cancer survivors, a powerful example of how science and art can converge in the healing process.

Sara’s strength lies in the synergy of her diverse experiences. Her business acumen and her work with NJ Sisterhood position her to champion women’s health and community well-being on a grander stage. She envisions using the Miss NJ platform to create tangible change, increasing resources for those affected by breast cancer and other women’s health issues.

The demands of a successful business, active volunteer work with NJ Sisterhood, and the rigorous training for the Miss NJ competition require exceptional time management skills. Sara thrives under pressure, meticulously juggling her commitments without compromising on quality.

Her multifaceted personality, unwavering commitment to women’s health, and passion for community empowerment make her a strong contender for Miss NJ. She embodies the true spirit of the competition: a woman who is not just beautiful, but a force for good, inspiring young women to reach for their dreams and embrace their unique talents.

Follow Sara’s journey and learn more about her mission on Instagram: @pharminked_laser and @njsisterhood. Let’s cheer her on as she vies for the Miss NJ crown!

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