John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, says in his book, 'We will be the same tomorrow as we are today except for the people we meet and the books we read.'
Learn something from someone you know
Everyone has something to teach us, and I have made it part of my monthly routine to try and learn something from someone I have met. This usually means being inquisitive, and asking questions, even if you are unsure of what you are going to discover. I have always learned something from this practice, and it never ceases to amaze me how much people like to help. It's as though they were waiting to be asked.
I have also sought to read books that will assist me in my growth and development. Books have been a way for me to access the minds of people that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet in person.
The right relationships
I didn’t realise how much of an impact those who we live our daily lives with has on us until I read Dr Henry Cloud’s book, The Power of the Other. The right relationships in our lives have the power to impact us greatly - both positively and negatively based on how 'healthy' these relationships are for us. Surrounding ourselves with positive and healthy relationships enables us to surpass limits we may have imposed for ourselves. Dr Cloud proves that our relational connections with others impact not only our interpersonal skills but also our physical and psychological well being. Relationships write the code of whom we become and who we are becoming. Dr Cloud describes 'four corners of connection' as follows:
• Disconnected • The bad connection • The pseudo good connection • True connection
I don’t have the space to go into detail in this article, suffice to say that engaging ourselves in the right kind of relationship will bring us to new levels of challenge and growth. Dr Cloud correctly points out that often we know little about the abilities and assets we possess because they have never been pointed out to us. Maintaining the right kind of relationships do exactly that – they spot a hidden asset you possess and show you how to access it.
I think we often undervalue the importance and power of the relationships we hold. Perhaps you have positive relationships that more value could be extracted from? Perhaps you have some relationships you know are destructive yet you continue to hold them. I would encourage you to undertake a relationship audit and consciously build upon those that are positive, while gently extracting yourself from those that are negative.
Your future depends on it!