1. Wellness is a team sport.
Brooklyn natives Jasmine and Annie have been best friends since the sixth grade. When they met, they had a crush on the same boy, but in an unusual (and remarkably mature!) turn of events, they didn’t let their shared feelings turn into a rivalry; instead, they bonded over their crush and established a friendship that has withstood the test of time. They’ve supported each other through high school and college, as well as the early stages of their careers. Now, 15 years into their relationship, Jasmine and Annie are helping each live their best, healthiest lives.
On motivating each other to stay healthy:
Annie: Jasmine works out every day (whether it's biking, swimming, running, etc.) and has inspired me to work out as well. She also ran her first half marathon this year, and I've been thinking about doing a 5K.
On the many different ways they take care of themselves:
Annie: We’ll go running, or we’ll go to yoga. Or sometimes we’ll just sleep in the park. We nap a lot.
Jasmine: Sometimes I’ll go to her house, and I’ll just nap there. Sometimes we’ll nap together on different couches.
2. Friends that change together stay together.
Ben and Jimmy’s friendship has spanned decades, continents, and career shifts. The pair met as kindergartners and stayed close thanks to a shared love of sports, summer camp, and elaborate silliness. They remained close through high school, college, and the six years Jimmy spent living in Australia. In fact, the pair stayed in such close contact that Ben insists he can’t hear the Australian accent Jimmy developed during his time abroad. Today, they’re back in the same country, motivating each other to have fun and stay weird even as they become spouses and parents.
On inspiring each other, then and now:
Ben: Growing up, Jimmy was the oldest kid in our grade, so he was always the first person to do EVERYTHING: first to drive, first to drink, first to get married, first to have a kid. And in every case, he's always set the bar high. I think his relationship with his wife and daughter is the gold standard for how relationships should work. It's nice to have him lead by example like that.
3. Part-time cheerleaders, full-time besties.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a twosome closer than Alex and Kate. The college pals-turned-roommates moved to New York City together, where they coincidentally ended up working in the same midtown high-rise. They've successfully navigated post-college career anxiety and have created a fun, fulfilling life in the city — thanks in large part to their ability to inspire and motivate each other daily.
On being each other's biggest cheerleader:
Alex: We're committed to the hustle and feel strongly about maintaining an inspiring support system.
Kate: It's important to celebrate your friends' successes so they feel motivated to continue to do well. Building up your friends' strengths allows them to see their value in the workplace.
On pushing each other in all aspects of life:
Alex: I make her go out with me because she’ll hang out in her room if I don’t.
Kate: I’m more of a homebody. I won’t go out unless it’s a social event. She motivates me both socially and career-wise.
4. Opposites attract.
Jon and Luke — better known as the synth-pop duo Great Good Fine OK — are a study in opposites: Jon is all energy, exuberance, and instinct, while Luke is more reserved, thoughtful, and precise. And the differences aren’t just superficial; they correspond pretty directly with how each man approaches music and songwriting. Jon is a self-taught singer-songwriter, while Luke has a lifetime of formal jazz training. But instead of creating discord, these different approaches have helped the pair create music that they both agree is better and more interesting than they could've produced on their own.
On being inspired by each other's unique approach to songwriting:
Luke: The final product of what we make together is really — and it’s such a cliche thing to say — more than the sum of its parts. That’s what really motivates me: how amazing the music we make is.
Jon: That’s what I was gonna say. When I hear a close-to-final mix and I hear the crazy expertise Luke brings to music — how clean it is, the stuff I never would have thought of — that’s what motivates me to be better at the things that I bring to the table.
5. Tough love is true love.
Allison and Grace met during a study-abroad semester. After school, Allison invited Grace to crash with her in New York City, and the two enjoyed what they called “Permanent Sleepover” while Grace searched for a job. Allison eventually told Grace she needed to find another place to live, and instead of being a friendship-ender, it was exactly the push Grace needed to get her job search together. Today, both women are successful and closer than ever.
On the power of tough love:
Grace: [When I was crashing with Allison,] she was finally like, “Hey, you got to figure this out. You’ve got a couple weeks, and that’s it. You either find a job, or you need to think about what your next steps are.” But it was good because it really did force me to be like, "OK, if I want to live in New York, I have to do this."
6. The importance of being understood.
When Jennifer and Gabby first met, they didn’t get along. The only two girls in a group of guy friends, they initially regarded each other with jealousy and suspicion. Over time, however, the bad feelings faded, and Jennifer and Gabby realized they had a lot in common, including the fact that they’re both smart, ambitious first-generation Americans. Their friendship became a safe space where they could be honest about the unique challenges of having immigrant parents, no explanations needed. It formed the foundation of a friendship that has survived law school, cross-country moves, and all kinds of career-related craziness.
On the motivational power of being understood:
Jen: It manifests itself in a super-practical way. We’re both always talking about things we have to do to help our families. Gabby is super involved with her mom and dad and all of their personal affairs. Really basic things that other families don’t have to rely on their kids for. And I’m the same way.
Gabby: It’s a lot of immigrant-parent struggles. She understands that I have to call my mother every single day and that, if I don’t, I’ll get in trouble — even though I’m a grown woman. There’s things like that. Cultural things where it’s nice to have an ally who gets it.