Welcome one and all - here we are at the beginning of a New Year!!
I first saw the lovely inspirational quote below back in 2015 and, subsequently wrote my first article here on LinkedIn back then. Boy... that was my ultimate 'Leap of Faith' and the inspiration I needed to continue writing and designing my #Motivation for Today...posts and other posts.
The quote immediately gained my attention, as it so reminded about the people we choose to be around and, those whom we are influenced by. There are occasions where people will be consistently draining you or inspiring you and, the discernment one needs to have in order to choose them wisely. This, lead me thinking about my whole career thus far, the people I have met along the way and, the cornucopia of knowledge, skills, guidance I had gained and also, the reality and disillusionment that I have come across in what I call my 'Journey to Empowerment'.
When looking back on my career history and my resume, one would assume that I had my career mapped out from day one! Not so I cry... this has never been the case..... It's all been part of my Journey... with the destination Unknown...
The truth of the matter is my journey has been one of highs, lows and lulls. If I get you to think of the Kübler Ross Change Curve... and that lovely dip at stage 4, which takes one into depression. There were times in my life when I would have happily taken my duvet and pillow and nestle down there locked away under the comfort of this barrier. But I'm a fighter and have strong convictions about where I've been, where I am now and where I want to head towards. With these thoughts and feelings, comes experiences one has with people in general. You will meet people who consistently inspire you without you asking for an audience; then you will meet people who consistently drain you without permission!
As soon, as you top up and get yourself to a place where you’re feeling good about everything and nearly everyone…! Guess what? They top up too! They listen to you and make comments and, in some cases keep commenting until your ‘good feeling’ top up is depleted to a critical level, leaving you wondering why on earth you gravitated towards this person in the first place and, more to the point, why are you still listening to them! They've totally dehydrated you and you're feeling bone dry and in need of some hydration to boost you up again.
Whilst on your journey in life, you will always come across people who boost, deplete or destroy your Joy or Inspiration and, having that discerning spirit to know who is to help and who will ultimately hinder you is not always apparent in one’s psyche. In time, as you feel confident and grounded within your career, your life in general and, more to the point, within yourself; you will find that you will come across like-minded and kindred spirits that are there for you regardless of what is happening around you.
I have such people in my life who are such a blessing to be around and to talk with. These ‘friends for life’, probably don’t realise how special and inspirational they are to me; but it is so heartwarming to know that you have people around you who will listen, challenge, advise, laugh, cry and be themselves with you and, enable you to feel totally at ease and confident with them. You can come away feeling consistently topped up by the conversations had, and the energy that was generated in your conversations at whatever social settings these interactions take place within.
Experience is a great thing…. I’ve often asked myself… If I knew then, what I know now… would it change the journey or the path I took? I can honestly answer no, because these experiences along my journey have really shaped who I am today and, more to the point where I stand today.
Let's think of a motorway... Here in the UK we have the M1 motorway which is our main motorway or I could say...'backbone' route; which starts off from London and ends in Leeds. Of course there are other junctions and motorways that feed off the M1 but, ultimately the route is London to Leeds. Why am I talking about the M1 motorway you may ask? Well, life and our Journey in Life, is a bit like the M1 motorway. The journey itself is there mapped out and the slip-roads or junctions on and off the motorway can be seen as significant points in your life and/or career. You know what it’s like when you start a journey, you ensure you have all the things you need but, there will come a point on your journey where you will have to stop for a break. During this break, you will refresh and recharge your batteries by way of food, visiting the bathroom or just stretching your legs for a while.
The people that you meet are a bit like the motorway junctions in your life….. Think about it. On the M1 you will see London Gateway (formerly Scratchwood) Service Station and pass it and know that when you get to Newport Pagnell Service Station you’ll be ready for that break. Then again, you may feel you can keep going with a bit more resilience to bolster you up and venture forwards onto Watford Gap Service Station, where you can finally take that much needed break!
Whatever you choose to do on your respective journey in life, and, more to the point, how you venture on and with whom you choose to engage with, be it networking, mentoring, general work or just socialising; know, gravitate towards the people you want to surround yourself with; People that elevate you are far more appealing than people who consistently suppress or demotivate you. Don’t get me wrong…. They may be really nice people…. But the truth of the matter is when you come away from your conversation, you feel drained, or more to the point dehydrated, that is not a good sign for anyone!
Have you ever had an occasion when you’ve met someone, who you are friendly with and you’ve chatted to for a while and, when you come away you feel refreshed, happy, and full of joy? Or… should I say hydrated?
As you venture into 2019 and beyond, tap into your EI to sharpen and hone these skills you have within YOU... Make the effort to become more #EISavvy and if necessary, invest in your development and growth, especially around your own Journey to Empowerment and ultimately wherever you are heading.
Don't forget there will always be someone out there who really admires you, your skills and your work ethics and, will want you to themselves and place you in a box, to tap into whenever they need that sustenance, moral boost or downright binge and, you... will be the power source or base that they are anchored to whenever they need you.
Life’s too short to spend in someone else’s box!!
Spend time with people who will empower, motivate and encourage you to be your #Authentic self.