This world that we live in is relentless! You’ve just survived 2020 and you’re surfing this crazy pandemic wave, so I don’t have to tell you a damn thing about change and the speed at which it will chase you.
Never before has it been this critical that we invest in ourselves and ensure that we are future fit. Being future fit requires that we invest in ourselves consistently and expose ourselves to new ideas and ways of contributing and being. It also means creating the conditions that ensure your freedom to move on. If you’re in a team or running a business where there is key man dependency on you, you’re going to be stuck if you’re fervently clutching to your existing responsibilities.
There is an easy way to do it and you get to feel good about yourself in the process. If you make these four roles not just part of your life, but also a part of who you are, you can easily and effortlessly anticipate, create and dance with change.
Seek out your Role Models
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Sir Isaac Newton
Lesson 2 is all about the influence that the people you hang out with have on you.
What do you want to achieve professionally, or in a hobby or a vocation that you prize? Whatever it is that you want to achieve, identify who is already doing what you want to be doing at the highest level. It could be the top 3 in your company or even your industry. It could be someone that you only know in the online environment.
Record their names and make it your ambition to learn from them. These are the people that will awaken you to new understandings, perspectives and paradigms that you could not possibly already have. They have access to information, and they connect dots that you are not yet even aware of. Exposure to these people shorten your learning path in ways you cannot begin to estimate.
By hook, or by crook, make sure you are exposed to and absorbing the thought leadership of people who are playing the game at a higher level than you. For sure, study and read in order to advance your learning and understanding, but the best guarantees of your growth remain exposure to role models who are already achieving the success you desire. Role models will raise your standards, and the more you operate within their influence, the less likely the chances are of you becoming complacent.
Finding a role model or mentor will spark your mind because they are playing the game at a higher level than you are.
Create a Growth Circle
“More importantly than mentors is who are you staying away from.”
Finding people who complain, criticise and marinate in complacency is easy.
Success Magazine asked their most successful achievers what their biggest secret to improving their results were and respondents offered the following:
22% Waking Up Earlier
22% Making a Plan
16% Writing Down My Goals
37% Learning from Other Achievers
This is the power of being around other achievers.
It may not be possible or practical to pursue the company to the top performers in your company, industry or vocation, but I can assure you that there are countless people at your level with ambitions similar to yours with whom you can maintain and increase your inspiration levels.
A few important questions to ask yourself is:
· Who are you spending most of your time with?
· Do these people reflect your goals and/or your aspirations for growth?
· How are those people influencing you? How are they affecting your thinking, actions, and standards?
· Who among these people drag you down? How can you reduce your exposure to them?
· Who among these people add value to your life? How can you increase your exposure to these people?
· How do you add value to the people you spend time with?
· Who are your potential growth friends (people you know but need to increase communication with) What is needed to connect with them and deepen your friendships?
The more time you spend with your growth friends, the more inevitable the achievement of your quest. This is true regardless of your growth ambitions. Whether you are on a spiritual, religious, academic, financial, romantic, physical or adventure quest, surround yourself with people heading in the same direction as you. All the objections and resistances that you hold within you that keep you from achieving your goals will start to dissolve as you take in the evidence of people overcoming the same challenges and objections that you struggle with. Not only will you move in the direction of your goals, but you will also start bringing the feeling of your success closer to you.
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want are people who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
Be a Role Model
But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, 'Yes, someone like me can do this.”
You don’t have to be a senior / industry leader, celebrity or a superstar to be a role model. Chances are if you’re a parent, teacher, coach, religious leader, specialist or manager, you’re influencing people every day. Make it positive!
By being an exceptional example to yourself and by pursuing your best you switch on the proverbial lights for people in ways you cannot anticipate.
One of the fascinating by-products of being a role model, mentor, guide, teacher or advisor, your own understanding, skill and mastery improves. Through contributing, you enrich not only the beneficiaries of your contribution, but you also enrich yourself. In addition to taking your skill to the next level, you also take your confidence and leadership skills higher.
Don’t wait to be a ‘success’ before you start contributing to the growth of others. By contributing to the growth of others, you make success a foregone conclusion.
Be an Advocate
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water and create many ripples”
Promoting the work of others will set you apart in the eyes of the person whose work you are promoting as well as the person to whom you are advocating their work.
Generosity is a virtue that is attractive and idealised. When you are able to promote the work of others and advocate on their behalf, you tap into a system of abundance that gives you growth access in strange and material ways.
It is my experience that these 4 roles not only facilitate your ongoing relevance, but also hugely increases your value to others.
I would encourage you to set aside some time over the next 7 days to audit your circle of influence. Whatever you discover, take action. There are always opportunity and value in growing more and contributing more.