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The Way You Define 'Friend' Can Either Make You Or Break You

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Your 20s are some of the most important years in terms of self-realization and growth. It is the time when we start to decide what matters most to us and of what we are willing to let go.

Other than figuring out what we want in life, what we would like our lives to be like and what our passions are, these years we use — or should use — to weed out all the unnecessary things that are clouding our lives. What many of us will undoubtedly come to conclude is that the largest unnecessary excesses in our lives are some of our friends.

A better way to put it may be to say that during our 20s we begin to define the term "friend" better. While earlier on we considered our "friends" to be those who would hold us up during keg-stands or those that invited us to their tables at the hottest clubs, during our 20s we tend to lean towards only calling those friends who hold the toilet seat up for us while we throw up our lungs at 6 in the morning, and not those who caused the alcohol poisoning in the first place.

Having a solid group of friends is a very important part of life; whether or not we would like to acknowledge it, the fact is that we cannot succeed alone. Each and every one of us needs a support team from time to time to comfort us and let us know that we aren’t fighting this uphill battle alone.

This is something that I came to realize most recently. While I am constantly meeting new people and my Twitter followers are steadily growing in number — and I have you all to thank for that — when push comes to shove I only have a select few that I know that I can rely on.

Having a handful of close friends that act as a support team there for you when you fall into a slump — which we all do from time to time — is key to keeping your sanity. In our 20s most of us become exposed to the real world for the first time; we quickly come to realize that the golden-paved road to success that we imagined we would find lays somewhere underneath a thick layer of soot.

Finding this golden road is difficult enough as it is. Being the curvy, tricky road that it is, staying along it proves to be even more difficult. Unfortunately, life does not come with a GPS. Having friends worthy of your trust that you can turn to and ask directions from, will prove to be a priceless advantage.

We come to realize this during our 20s and for this reason most of our "friends" end up not making the cut. It turns out that when you are in need of a friend the most, most of your "friends" seem to forget how to answer their phones.

I am sure that many of you have already come to this conclusion; unfortunately, it seems like getting f*cked over by those whom you believed to have your back is a necessary part of the 20s. Thankfully, however, most of us only need to learn this lesson once.

And so we go through that decade spending more time doing things that are important to us and less time with people that are unimportant to us. College friends, the buddies you picked up working as a barista, that friend of yours that caused your liver failure: simply do not make the cut.

Being the smart, driven Generation-Yer that you are, you build yourself a team of trusted, reliable, lovable friends who will be there through your best and worst. These friends are the only ones who are deserving of your attention, or deserving of the title.

If you are in your 20s and have yet to do some spring-cleaning — the sooner you do so, the better. Life is limited and you ought to only share it with those that matter. A building full of friends is perfect for one hell of a party, but your life only requires a handful.

Paul Hudson | Elite. 

For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson