I had a meeting this morning with a former colleague. We hadn’t spoken for a few months, so there was plenty of ‘life’ to catch up on. During the course of the discussion I had cause to reflect on those people in my life that challenge me to be better than I am. They can be found professionally, or amongst family and friends, but in their own way they each support and inspire me on a never-ending quest for growth.
They can do this by:
- encouraging fresh ideas and attempts to tackle new challenges
- being a positive role model with their values and actions
- sharing stories and writings that help identify the best parts of yourself, or that help define who you want to be
Conversely, there are those people and situations that always seem to bring out the worst in us. Without always being conscious of it, I realise that over the past two years I have sought to maximise time spent with the former whilst minimising the latter.
Do you have a vision for the best (or a better) version of yourself?
What does that person look like?
How can you help others to strive for their aspirational selves?
These questions bring to mind one of my favourite aspirational quotes, from Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. It seems appropriate for this challenge.
How to do this?
A good start is to surround yourself with the people you identify as having the capacity to help you be the best possible you (and vice versa). In writing this I am reminded of a colleague who is fond of saying:
“It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys!” (If you’re reading this, you know who you are.)
Nevertheless, I encourage you to make a start. But you must accept that the task will never end.