The Friendship Steps

Goal Setting-Friends Helping Friends Set Goals

Goal Alignment-Why We Are Friends

Help Me, Help You…Help You, Help Me

Hono(u)r-Code of Conduct

Reason, Season, Lifetime-When to Move On…Peacefully

Quote by A.s.C.:

“It’s not perfect, but it is better than what we’ve got.  And that’s all you can really ask for.”



Goal Setting-Friends Helping Friends Set Goals

àI have a lot of different friends and acquaintances scattered throughout my life.  The one main common factor with those I care(d) to spend more time with is that I feel/felt good to be around them. 


After spending a bit of time with someone, good feelings are not enough to carry a relationship to any sort of next level…life is not always filled with good times and even though perfection isn’t the goal, improvement of self or situation doesn’t usually hurt things.


There have been times in my life, that without the help of my friends, I honestly don’t think I would have made it through certain situations.  There are other times when I had myself convinced I was perfectly fine, till a friend helped me see something wasn’t quite right.  People have a choice to keep their mouths shut and mind their own business (which is sometimes the right thing to do) or open their mouths and express concern and volunteer a possible solution/help.


When times get tough, the tough get ready…or when the times get rough, the rough tend to hit the road and run for the hills ;). It is a great way to figure out the intentions of another.  (I let you figure out what that means to you).


This is where “goal setting-friends helping friends set goals” comes into play.


There are so many amazing and capable human beings on this planet.  One person’s strengths could be another person’s weakness and vice versa.  If the timing is right, a budding friendship is the perfect opportunity for us to shine and show our true colours.



For example:

Susie and Mary are friends.  Susie has asthma and has been a smoker for several years.  Mary notices that Susie’s breathing is getting much worse and suggests that maybe she should quit smoking.  Susie confesses that she would love to but can’t.  It is too hard.  Susie shares with Mary that ever since her break-up with her last partner her smoking has gone up to three packs a day.  Mary decides to help her friend by asking her to be accountable and text her at the end of each day how many cigarettes she smokes.  Mary’s only requirement is that Susie attempts to reduce her number of smoked cigarettes by one every few days.


This is a great example because it shows two people who are willing to be honest with one another, willing to experience discomfort for the sake of a common positive goal and it also gives both people an opportunity to experience loving kindness.  How? Susie experiences loving kindness because Mary expresses concern for Susie’s health & well-being and is willing to take time and energy to help her.  Mary experiences loving kindness because Susie trusts her enough and respects her enough to listen to her idea and put in the effort required.  Giving and receiving are two sides to the same coin.  When you give, you receive by accepting feelings of importance…when you receive, you give by granting the giver importance.  This also shows each friend where they stand with one another and how much they appear to value one another.



Personally, whenever I am able to assist a person in reaching their goal and they show appreciation for it I have found that alone can entice me to want to spend more time with or help that person/friend again…thus perpetuating a relationship.


Also, when I had/have goals and someone willingly volunteers to help me, it makes me feel good to the point that I would totally want to spend more time with them or help them out if they ever needed help…thus, again, perpetuating a relationship.


The key concept for me with this was/is removing demands and desires from the equation.


I give (help) because it is an expression of mutual loving kindness, NOT because it is demanded of me or because I am threatened to do so.


If a “friend” makes a demand of me and threatens our friendship if I refuse…even if I do what they ask out of principle…it is FAR from likely that I will want to maintain the relationship in the future.


Same is found in reverse: whenever I have foolishly made demands of a friend out of fear or desire, etc. the relationship was sure to fall apart soon after.



I want the world reflected in loving kindness, so, for the most part, I work to surround myself with like-minded people.


Quote my Papa used to say:

“You are by the [friends] company you keep.”   My addition: Friends can help each other...sometimes keeping various types of friends can end up being more genuine than ones that seem socially equivalent. 



Goal Alignment-Why We Are Friends

My goals are constantly changing and evolving and growing.  So do my circles of friends.








                                                                Together & Separately.


Why would two people be close if not for common interests(s) or common goals that align in some way?


The world is a beautiful amazing place.


Why spend it with anyone that is anything but supportive and helpful; anyone that expects anything less than great things from you because they don’t doubt for a second how truly amazing you are?


We all have goals. Hopefully.


Maybe hanging out with supportive close friends isn’t always a bad thing J


*If my goals do not at least peacefully coexist with another’s…I find myself not spending as much time around that person.  I also find myself not spending as much time with them if my friend & I DO have similar goals, however, are at a point in our relationship where we need time separately to grow & strengthen our individual strong points [or readjust our goals or world toward those goals] alone.  This is okay.  “I’m okay, you’re okay” (a good read).


Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on Jealousy #248

“Jealousy makes us miserable and prevents us from progressing (spiritually).

 If it expressed as aggression, it also harms other people. 

It is a very negative emotion.’”


Another Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on Living a Life of Plenty #80

“When I meet people who are wealthy, I usually tell them that according to Buddhist teaching, wealth is a good sign.  It is the fruit of a certain merit and the proof that they have been generous in the past.  However, wealth is not synonymous with happiness.  If it were, the richer one was…the happier one would be.”



Help Me, Help You…Help You, Help Me

  • Help Me, Help You:


Help me clear out your room so I can help you paint your walls and put together your new bed frame.


  • Help You, Help Me:


I’m going to help you put together a business plan and do all the research so you can help me with a job when you need to hire someone with my skill set.

As long as both people are clear and understand exactly where the other person is coming from…these work.  And as long as the intentions are pure and without “self-only” desires or expectations of reciprocation attached…these can work.

Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on Anger #238

“You do not have to put up with the harm inflicted on you or others.  Fight against it, but without any hatred for those who perpetrate it.  Do not get angry at them and do not seek vengeance.  In this way your reaction will not be a form of revenge, or an anger responding to another anger.  This is what patience really is.  It is difficult to react correctly when we are in a rage, so drop your rage.”



Hono(u)r-Code of Conduct

Personally, I don’t care what code of conduct you stick by as long as it is for the greater good; and you consider the Golden Rule*… 

[*Treating others the way you would want to be treated (if you were in their shoes)]

à Once you have an idea about what your code of conduct is: surrounding yourself with like minded people is usually a logical and positive step forward.

Quote By the Dalai Lama:

“Meditations on War #169

“History shows us that violence only engenders more violence and rarely solves problems.  On the other hand, it certainly creates unfathomable suffering.  It is also apparent that even when war seems wise and logical as a means to end a conflict, we can never know for sure whether by putting out a fire we are in fact lighting a furnace.”




Reason, Season, Lifetime-When to Move On…Peacefully

You decide.

Keep in mind:

Health/wellness (for yourself AND others)

Happiness (as a percentage%)

Feelings of appreciation, support, love or “like”

Self-love when you’re around that person.

How much you improve or feel good overall when you are around that person.

Saddleback Church one family, many locations


A.s.C., was born the eldest of Howie and Ann Sarmiento of Saddleback Church's main Human Trafficking Ministry based in Southern California. A.s.C. was brought up volunteering from a young age and raised to help wherever possible. It was ingrained in her that although the world can be beautiful and wonderful…it can also be frightening and destructive for many who lose their way in life and it was always a personal responsibility to lift up whomever whenever and be the change she believed was needed in the world. This book is a tribute to the Sarmiento family and their struggles against the odds to help their community. Join A.s.C. and her writings and show support for her family at

Project Cuddle


While A.s.C. volunteered for Project Cuddle, her understanding of the great need for support and counselling for families, young women and children throughout the world grew. Project Cuddles efforts of providing safe and loving homes to babies that would otherwise be abandoned or thrown into the machine we call ‘Child Services’ to grow up in foster care or orphanages is felt and deeply appreciated by many.

The tremendous support and advice Project Cuddle provides to women, babies & adoptive families through their compassion and strong leadership still inspires many today.

Girl Guides


The Irish Girl Guides is an exceptional example of how an organisation can encourage young women to become the best they can be. Through the experience of volunteering to support a progressive youth leadership program and being privileged to be a part of such an inspirational organization has inspired A.s.C.’s works in many ways.