How to Pick’em (friends, of course)

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. – Oprah Winfrey

Cause you got to have friends

When I sat down to begin writing, my intent was to write about dealing with the disappointments that come with human entanglements. However as I began to tap out letters hoping that words would form, I quickly discovered that I needed inspiration; and inspiration I found, in the form of an Oprah Winfrey quote. Which then lead me to recall a Chinese Proverb, or something, that goes something similar to this….If you want to know a man’s character, look no further than his friends.

Who are you surrounded by? Are they building you up? Do they tear you down?

I discovered a blog post by Jason Seiden entitled ‘How to Surround Yourself with People Better than Yourself’. In it he discusses his methodology. It is certainly worth sharing.  So here’s Jason’s methodology, as he said, so you can do this, too:

  • Let go of judgment. The first step in recognizing talent is recognizing talent! You can only do this if you are able to put aside your own issues and prejudices and see others for who they are. ie, if you’re starving, any chef is a 4 star chef. You’ve got to be able to compensate for your own “schtick” when assessing others.
  • Let go of ignorance. Sifting through the self-promoters to get to what’s real requires that you have some education about the world around you.
  • Let go of jealousy. If you’re jealous of what they’ve got, you’ll feel it, they’ll feel it, and badness will be inevitable.
  • Let go of need. Needing others is only fractionally better than being jealous of them. Needing people leads you to make demands. Which amps up the awkward and ends painfully.
  • Let go of labels. Strong people don’t need anyone to define a relationship with labels because they’re able to figure it out on their own. Trying to label a relationship can scare a strong person off. (Not comfortable with ambiguity? Keep that to yourself.)
  • Let go of doubt. Great people want people around them who are even better then themselves. If you don’t believe you belong, you don’t belong.
  • Let go of control. Great people will do things you don’t understand and can’t explain. Insisting on living in a world you fully understand will keep you from experiencing people who can open you up to new and bigger ideas. Great people approach their worlds with innocence, wonder, and curiosity.
  • Let go of you. Help the people around you shine brighter. The strong ones’ll keep you around and start feeding your gift back to you. (The weak ones will show their true colors by trying to take advantage or assuming malintent on your part—easy to deal with once you’re prepared for it.)
  • Let go of work/life distinctions. When the relationship comes first, it’s sometimes difficult to know if it’s going to grow into friendship, business, or both. Especially with great people who jump from idea to idea with ease, and make no distinction between a project that makes money and one done for fun. Be profersonal.
  • Let go of self-esteem. The thing about surrounding yourself with awesome is, you are always being challenged. It’s with love and support, but they’re challenges nonetheless, and you must win, without help, without cheating, without rationalizing. And when you don’t win, you must bounce back quickly and confidently because you don’t want to fail twice in a row.
  • Let go of ego. You love that local band? Accept that you’re just one small part of their success, and help them get big anyway. Make it your goal to enjoy next year’s conversation with that girl who claims she “discovered” the band on the radio “last month.”
  • Let go of negative. Awesome people fix things or laugh about them. They see no third option.
  • Let go of safe. Surrounding yourself with extraordinary people guarantees one thing: change. Scary, risky, life-altering change. No-more-comfort-zone change. For instance, if I were the worlds’ best matchmaker and we were hanging out, I could find you your true love. When I did, would you be ready? Great people requires us to abandon the safe harbor of our routines.

I hope you are as inspired by Jason’s words as I am.  Let go of your ego and choose your associates wisely.


About Gayle

Gayle is a Social Media Enthusiast and Consultant with Biz Buzz Social Media Marketing; co-owner of Glynne's Soaps; a dalmatian rescuer; genealogist and member of the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) and of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC); a Cubs Fanatic; hopeful bagpiper; purveyor of positive; and a curious seeker of life.
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