Fulfilling Your Goals
Last week we examined how friends influence our decisions -- decisions that either reflect who we are or take us further away from who we want to be. Today life goes by at breakneck speed, and it's easy to get swept away. A few guiding concepts can help you choose advisors that will encourage you to stay your course.
Choose friends and colleagues who have...
...shared goals. If they value the same concepts as you do, they'll be able to point out when the goal is worth the sacrifice -- and when it isn't.
...overcome obstacles. Still waters run deep and give thoughtful replies. Plus, it's difficult to take encouragement seriously when it comes from someone who's been handed life on a silver platter. Fortune doesn't make people bad. However, in the face of adversity, fortune does make encouragement hollow.
...the courage to challenge your decisions because they have your best interests in mind. Having shared values doesn't mean you'll always agree. You want friends and colleagues who share your values but are willing to challenge your perspective. Sometimes we're too close to the trees to see the forest. Stay away from "yes men."
...had success in the area you're pursuing. You need someone who's "been there, done that." You want someone one step ahead of you to show the way.
...your ear. It doesn't matter how wise someone's advice is if you don't listen to him. You need friends to whom you're receptive.
You're unlikely to find a host of friends who share 100 percent of your values. To be sure, no one friend will be all things in all situations. However, when you apply the principles above, you stand a better chance of fulfilling your goals.
Looking back, can you identify friends and colleagues who were instrumental in spurring you on to success? Why not drop them a note of thanks?!