We gain power from those around us, but only if they are the right people. Through shared experiences you learn as much about yourself as you do each other.
During my time in the world of Special Forces our training often meant being in situations where mistakes or bad luck were punished by harsh consequences. But that was the nature of the job, and training that cuts as close to the bone as possible is necessary to gain the experience needed for the tasks you are required to do.
One particular joy was the process of gaining access to a large moving ship, from a much smaller inflatable craft. The mechanics sound simple enough. Come alongside the target ship, attach a ladder, and climb aboard.
The reality is very different.
To put it in perspective, it is a bit like trying to get on board a lorry driving along the motorway, from the seat of a go kart!
A major issue is that large ships create a swell which causes the small craft you are in to rise and fall several meters at a time. Which means you have a split second to launch onto the ladder you’ve attached to the side of the ship. And once you commit then you really have to commit because the instant you jump your boat has to move away to avoid crushing you against the side of the ship in case of a large swell.
So no matter what grip you get on the ladder, legs on or off, you are climbing! Either that or you’re falling into those dark cold waters, and praying to not get sucked under the moving ship.
Oh and you do this at night in the dark, weighed down with full ops kit! In case you ever find yourself in this situation, here are a few things you might want to avoid:
The ladder catching on your kit on a rising swell and ripping you out of the boat resuling in you being dragged along the side of the ship until you can cut yourself free – seen it happen!
Your entire inflatable getting sucked under the ship – heard of it happening more than once!
Missing the ladder completely or losing your grip under the weight of your kit – seen it happen!
So, as you can imagine, when you’re gearing up to go for that ladder you are more than a little amped up. But no matter what fears you have, you put them aside, control your emotions and focus on what you need to do.
What helps you to achieve this aside from your own training and preparation?
The presence of the group around you. The guys at your side who are all willing to put themselves on the line to get the job done. There is a great strength to be drawn from those around you.
I first saw how powerful this can be during my time growing up playing rugby. When you have a team that gels together, each player feeding off the passion and enthusiasm of those around them, it creates an incredible environment for success.
You can see it in sports teams, in sets of play where they flow as one. Being a part of that makes you feel unstoppable.
In fact it’s probably the thing I miss most about the military, being in a team of people at the top of their game, all moving towards the same goal. That feeling of connection and the energy this produces makes you capable of achieving big things. And the same can be accomplished in life in general.
If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.Henry Ford
The people you choose to surround yourself with can be a huge predictor of whether or not you achieve the goals you set for yourself.
From your partner and your friends to who you work with, they all have a direct impact on your life, positive or negative. Those around you can either raise you up or they can sap your confidence, drain your resolve and drag you down.
Where To Go From Here
You become the sum of the people you spend most of your time with.
If you subject yourself to peers who are negative, insecure or destructive, it will pull you down. Regardless of your strength as an individual, you are not immune to a constant surrounding of negative energy or bad influence.
Conversely if you surround yourself with positive, happy people with high standards, then you will absorb this and it will bring you up. So it is up to you to make smart decisions and carefully consider who you spend your time with.
1. Your Partner
This is your PIC: your partner in crime!
Don’t ever settle for less than the best when it comes to this because in theory they will be with you throughout your entire life.
That is a huge deal!
This is the person you will spend more time on this earth with than anyone else. So if there is one thing you truly want to invest some time and effort into its finding the right person for you.
Choose somebody who shares your values, your hopes, and your dreams. A person that will support you and push you always to go a little further. Someone who above all else makes you a better person.
Not an easy task, but if you can even get even close to achieving it you’re setting yourself up to make everything else in your life a hell of a lot easier.
2. Your Friends
Our peer groups evolve throughout our lives as we move through different stages in growing up and growing older.
Through shared experiences you learn as much about yourself as you do each other.
It’s not an easy thing to cut ties with a person or group when you realise they don’t make you happy anymore. But as hard as it is, anchoring yourself with a solid group of friends can be the invaluable support you need when times are tough.
3. Your Colleagues
This is somewhat more tricky since we often don’t choose who we end up working with in our jobs. But you can help to tip the odds in your favour. Choose a company or organisation that you respect, one whose values are in line with your own.
This in theory means that its employees are a reflection of what they stand for. And so hopefully you will be surrounded by your ‘type’ of people.
And if you ever decide to strike out on your own and set up a business then revert to point number one if you decide to do this with somebody else. A business relationship will make or break your endeavour! The same goes for you first employees.
Choose carefully who you invest your time in because that investment will be reflected in the rewards you get back.
If you strive to be a happy, fulfilled, honest, confident, empowered and principled person, surround yourself with people who are the same.
Be relentless with surrounding yourself with those who bring out the best in you. Your direction in life depends on it. And while you’re at it, always strive to do the best for those around you.
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