Last week, Sean Lewis talked about clearly defining your goals as one of the 5 keys for success. What’s also really important is to learn from the success and failure of others! Read further to learn how you can succeed by being in proximity to successful people.
If there has been one reoccurring theme in my conversations over the last year, it has been that if you want to change your behavior, being in proximity to those that practice the behavior you want is key. For a better part, many of us are a product of our peer group. If you want to smoke, hang out with smokers, if you don’t want to be ambitious just hang around low ambition people, if you want to get fit, hang around active fit people. I experience this phenomena all the time when I go out with friends. Many times people will confess that they wanted to go for the desert but refused because I was there. It’s interesting in that I really don’t behave in any way to make the person feel this way. In fact, I show very little regard to the choices they make. The fact that I am in proximity, influences their behavior.
It really doesn’t matter what your goal may be, there is just no reason to go about it by yourself. Your world is full of people that have succeeded or are in the process of exploring the very same mission you are contemplating. People love to share their experience and thank goodness for that, otherwise we would all be reinventing the wheel over and over, losing valuable time. Enlisting the experience of others is going to reduce the amount of frustration and failure due to your lack of experience. Many times we want to do it all ourselves because we think we know better. This is a perfect recipe for failure. Not that failure is bad, we are well aware that success starts with the acceptance that failure is a part of progress. The only thing we need to be mindful of is that we don’t want to fail where failure was already clearly marked by those who tread before us. Experienced people can lend us the opportunity to avoid the pitfalls that are not yet obvious, due to our lack of experience.
Much of our willingness to follow the lead of others has a lot to do with self confidence and trust. Only confident people are able to recognize their shortcomings and can admit it. Once we are able to cast aside our insecurities and admit we need help, we have crossed the threshold of our greatest limiting factor; ourself. The really interesting thing in life really begin at this point because now we are ready to step away from our insecurities and put our trust in people, even if we recognize trusting people could mean being let down. Our self confidence at this point re-assures us that being let down is not the end of it but just a part of discovery and we will get past it. With time and effort our trust in others will bring us results and our self confidence will grow. We will also begin to see clearly that our progress would not be possible without the help of those we were willing to follow. I’m reminded of a proverb that I read not too long ago; “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”