One of Five
We are often told we become the five people we spend the most time with. It is the human condition to hear that and think about ourselves. We ask “who are my five and how are they shaping ME?” It is our immediate instinct to question how our five impact us.
We Are Asking Ourselves the Wrong Question.
By looking at it this way, it places us in a passive nucleus of influence, instead, we should be considering how we handle our responsibility when we are one of someone else’s five. If we ALL considered just how we influence and shape the ones whose circle of five we comprise; the entire world could be impacted.
It is amazing to think we could conceptually change the entire world if we all lived with a sense of consciousness of our influence in our very small circles.
I thought today about who are the people I make up one of their five. I thought about, maybe for the first time in some cases, WHO I want to be TO THEM, and what I hope they are absorbing from me.
As children we look to our parents as role models; my mother always said “a mother is only as happy as her saddest child” – a concept that demonstrates the enormity of the influence we have over our parent’s well-being. In my living example, I hope I can bring to my parents a sense of fearlessness. My mother especially was raised in a time and a culture where women had fewer options, were encouraged to let others solve their problems, and had a general sense of obligation to worry about everyone and everything. I hope I can bring a living example of fearlessness. I am going to make more of an effort to show my problems – and my refusal to back to down to them. I hope my parents absorb from me fearlessness.
I have six kids, so my sphere has a big bubble here…but I spend a LOT of time with my kids. Working from home and being an all-around pain in the ass of a parent trying to prevent drug use and teen pregnancies (laughing) keeps me very in their face. But what I want them to see the most is my integrity in the work I do. I am struggling to get the boys to brush their hair and care if their t-shirt looks like last nights menu. The greatest impact I can have on them right now is demonstrating pride and integrity in all I do. I need to show them more an unwavering commitment to pride in what I do – and hopefully, that sinks into what appears to be at times, impenetrable skulls. I hope my children absorb from me integrity.
Whether they are a romantic partner, or a partner you have built a business or organization with, we need to focus our loyalties on those that have earned it over time. To our partners we need to be living examples of loyalty and commitment. Nothing pains me more than watching a spouse ignore their partner’s needs but spend hours trying to impress near strangers. Loyalty, and true commitment to the ones that have stood by you through thick and thin, that supersede the transactional new, relationships – I want to be for them to make impressions of loyalty and gratitude. I hope my partners absorb from me gratitude.
Yesterday, I had a casual and fleeting conversation with a female strategic partner in a Mexican Cantina. We laughed as we washed our hands at what we accomplish in one hour and yet never came to the table with an “agenda.” I had a similar conversation with another referral partner as we walked along the beach last night, thinking of who we can connect each other with. For my business colleagues, and partners, I want to impress upon them an example of just being “in”. I want my referral partners, and strategic partners to know I am always genuinely happy to help. That I am not keeping score. I am not looking for a transaction. I want to impress upon them; I live the Kabbalist principles that we are all here to truly help each other along in our journeys, even if it does not “come back” in dollars and cents. I want them to become people that are always ready to help the next, and will be more vocal about living that example for them. I hope my professional acquaintances and colleagues absorb from me honest intention.
It is easy, and natural to look at our circle of five and ask – who am I becoming because of them? We can shift the responsibility and take an amused and passive look at how we are being shaped. But the power of our influence when we are one of the 5 is where our character is truly demonstrated. And with a new level of consciousness and self-awareness, I am going to challenge myself to take on the responsibility of being one of the five…..and maybe can make myself closer to being as unique as one in a million.