Have you ever spent an evening with a friend who turned every positive emotion into something negative? I bet you walked away feeling mentally drained. On the flip side, when you spend time with friends who lift you up, you are inspired to conquer the world.
There is an old saying that goes something like this: “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” Your self-worth shouldn’t be dependent on others, but incredible things are rarely accomplished alone. Friends help.
Like-minded people can stagnate growth. When someone always agrees with you, it gives you a certain level of comfort. Unfortunately, that security doesn’t push you to expand your horizons. It doesn’t challenge your thoughts.
If everyone in your network has the same opinion, what do you learn? Nothing.
Differing perspectives force you to think about other possibilities, truths or alternatives.
Some friendships can form at an early age and we may even stay friends with people from high school or college. But we change. Our goals change, and we evolve and grow. It can be a stark realisation that the friends we grew to know and trust may not understand our new path or journey. That realisation doesn’t have to stop you from being friends, but spending a lot of time with people who don’t get excited about your success won’t motivate you to succeed.
The people you spend the most time with should:
• Make you a better person
• Support you
• Push you to meet your goals
• Inspire you
• Help you transform
Some dreamers may be seen as unrealistic or undisciplined, but they can also be insightful visionaries. They think of things that others do not. They help you imagine what if. You feel life’s vitality when you are around them. Dreamers have a strong tendency to be highly creative and they make you believe that everything is possible.
The driver brings the dream to reality. They understand the big picture, but they have the talent to break it down into actionable steps. They are results-oriented and are usually decisive, direct and pragmatic. They may fall to the practical side, but they know how to get things done and thrive on the thrill of the challenge.
This is your voice of inspiration. They keep pushing you to meet your goals. They help you understand that goals are met more frequently when they are tied to a “higher purpose.” This person infuses you with energy and enthusiasm.
This is the true friend. This is the person with whom you can let your guard down. They are your comfort zone. They are your safe haven. Comfort is not all that bad at times; just remember that you still have to reach for more. This person will be there with you as you journey through life and they will journey with you. They are excited when you realize success and support you in times of need.
The Devil’s Advocate
This person is the critical thinker. They ask questions and lots of them. They see problems before they arise. This person is crucial because you need their perspective. They won’t sugarcoat it. They’re blunt, but they try to look out for you. You may not always like what they have to say, but they are often the voice of reason.
To sum it up:
• A dreamer will help you dream it.
• A driver will turn dreams into reality.
• A motivator will inspire you every step of the way.
• A supporter will never leave your side, through good and bad times.
• A devil’s advocate will cut through the BS and tell you the real deal.
Be persistent with surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Be relentless in having a network of people who constantly challenge you as much as you challenge yourself.
Remarkable people beget remarkable people.
by Jan Johnston Osbburn.