We have the ability to surround ourselves with people who will agree with us and support us. Blindly. Advice: Intentionally avoid them. Instead, have the courage to ask the right people to evaluate you. Here’s a brief guide to finding them:
The right people:
– have nothing to gain by lying to you and nothing to lose by being honest. They are not concerned with amassing poker chips. A paradox: They can get along fine without you, but enjoy your company. They are therefore people marked by unashamed honesty.
– have a unique perspective formed by experiences that are profoundly different from yours. Family differences – cultural differences – religious differences. They are not like you. This is uncomfortable. And this is good.
– recognize that their value to you is not bound to themselves or what they’ve done. Knowing that name-dropping or accomplishment-touting can easily inflame your pride, they listen to you more than they talk about themselves. They are humble.
– selflessly slow their own productivity for your growth. They are highly relational. They’ll gladly put their projects on the back-burner for you – if you show courage to ask them. Their investment in your life will be the irreplaceable reward of your courage.
The right people are out there. Watch them. And then ask them for their insight into what you’re creating, how you’re thinking, who you’re becoming.