You know the phrase: you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with? Or the not so friendly one that says: you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas or show me your friends and I will show you your future. I get schooled on these all the time. The most recent being that if you’re constantly the smartest person in the room, then it may be time to move on from that social circle to enable continued growth.
I was quite intrigued recently sitting in a room of strong, beautiful — definitely smarter people who embraced global citizenship. People who were progressing in their lives in leaps and bounds by actively accessing resources far reaching the immediate community. I got struck by the legacy, the knowledge and the inclusiveness that the young were experiencing as they grow up in this dynamic, vibrant environment that embraced one’s authentic being, that allowed them — the young ones to also explore their world, to ask as many why’s as they could as they discover themselves through encouraged interaction and engagement.
Imagine having grown in an environment like that; one beyond the individual or shared households; in a community, a town, a village, a city, a nation that embraces and celebrates the differentness, the uniqueness that each and every one of us has so that we could explore and share the talent that each and every one of us possesses? Imagine living in a world where institutional walls were non-existent, where one could become whatever they wanted and in whichever way they wanted, as they discover what they are made of so that they could give back to a society that embraces each person as is — young and old.
Can you imagine each child being given the space, the tools, the time to discover themselves…actually not a child — YOU, the adult reading this post. Can you imagine having grown up in such a household, school and work environment, what you could have become — that’s if you’re not there already? Can you imagine what you could contribute to your family, your community, your nation — having discovered and harnessed your talent and packaged it in a fulfilling way and much earlier in life?
Actually — STOP. Close your eyes if you can, and do imagine it for a moment — what could you have truly become? Who stopped you from becoming that?
Now as the adult that you are, I really hope you are pointing to yourself — because we need to take the time to discover who we really are; we need to take the time to learn from the classroom that is everyday living. How do we expect to articulate our needs to ourselves if we don’t take that time, let alone to those around us? How do we expect to progress beyond the immediate comfortability that is the reward of mediocrity? Who are we becoming within the space of trying to please others, of trying to conform, of doing what those around us want us to do — even though it does not speak to whom we really are? Who are we letting influence our choices? Who are those 5 people we are spending most of our time with? Do we need to check that?
In all the time that you have been pursuing that job, that physical body, that mental agility, that relationship with yourself, your friends, your partner and your family; are you on the path that speaks to who you really are? What you tell yourself that you are, is it really who you really are — or what people have said you are over the years? What daily habits, thought processes and actions have you adopted or that you can start adopting to start being that person that you yearn to be? Who are the cheerleaders in your life — the people who allow and direct and advise you to grow using your authenticity as a guiding torch? Are you growing in those circles, growing toward your vision?
Who amongst these people is going to stand at your funeral, and what are they going to say about the life that you lived? In an ideal society — for which there is none — what could you have become? You are not dead. So why not start living that life that will be shared of you, at the funeral right now? Beyond life (which you have no clue how long it will last), what do you have to lose?