It’s not easy kicking ass in Shanghai.

There are so many challenges to overcome in this megalopolis like dealing with the heavy traffic, food safety, pollution, the highly competitive environment, the transient nature of the city, the temptations of all the indulgences that has made Shanghai infamous!

That’s why we all need a social support network to back us up and to keep us going!

I’ve written about how powerful a community can be for your own well-being, and I’ve written how you can go about building one up.

This blog is going to expand on that.  Specifically, which key personas will best help you to be awesome!

The following is taken directly from my favourite blogger and author, Eric Barker: “These are the 8 friends you need to be happy in life.”

In it, he quotes Tom Rath in his book “Vital Friends”.

I actually have read another one of Tom Rath’s book titled: “Strengths Finder 2.0” and was given to me as a gift from a member of the Olive Branch community.  How fateful is it that I now blog about the power of the community using the wisdom of the same author that a fellow member had already directed me to!?

Instead of copying and pasting his descriptions for each one, I suggest you go and read about them in his blog post to get a better understanding of each one.  Here it is again.

Now the summary list:

“These are the 8 friends you need to be happy in life:

  • The Builder: If you were a sports team, they’d be the “Coach.”
  • The Champion: Pom-poms not included.  [AL]: they are your cheerleaders
  • The Collaborator: The unindicted co-conspirator.  [AL]: they partner with you to do real work
  • The Companion: They’ll be at the police station at 3AM with bail money. Again.  [AL]: you trust them with your life
  • The Connector: This is the friend you and I probably have in common.  [AL]: they know everyone
  • The Energizer: (I’m currently taking applications.)  [AL]: they are always positive and makes you smile
  • The Mind Opener: If they sent you this blog post, I’m flattered.  [AL]: they open your minds with new ideas and perspectives
  • The Navigator: Like a high school guidance counselor, except useful.

Some of your friends may play multiple roles. And you might play different roles to different friends of yours. That’s fine.”

So now you’re equipped with the knowledge to build your social support network to be a legend!  Go out there and get cracking!

But knowing who you need is one thing, finding them is another.

If you’re not sure where to find these amazing people to fill in those roles, you can always start with the outstanding people at Olive Branch!

They are simply the best people I’ve met in Shanghai.  I’ve met many friends that I would consider lifelong friendships.

Just come out to a class and break out a sweat together.  Sweating together really is the easiest icebreaker!

Lastly, I would really appreciate it if you replied back to let me know which of the 8 roles I am for you.  I, in turn will tell you which of the 8 I think you are.  In next week’s newsletter, I’ll be sure to publish everyone’s responses about me!


Have a great week ahead!


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