There is no faster, more effective way to fill the gap between where you are and where you aspire to be than having the right passionate and supportive people around you. There is no bigger life hack. Our environment is everything. And it’s 100 percent in our control. But it can be intimidating to change our surroundings, and most of us are scared to change.
The Right People
We know how many things could be possible if we changed our surroundings. We’ve heard stories of the changes people have made, the businesses they’ve built, the weight they’ve lost, the lovers they’ve met, and the things they’ve experienced – just as a result of connecting with the right people.
So why are we not tackling this? We have all kinds of reasons why we don’t reach out and make the connections we could – you don’t live in a big city, you’re an introvert, you’re not worthy, you have nothing to offer, you don’t know where to start…so you do nothing, and the gap between dreams and reality widens.
But you can change this!
I want to share simple things you can do, starting today, to begin creating an environment of support that makes failure impossible:
1. Know Your Impact
Connection starts long before the first interaction. Let the people around you feel your fire for the impact you want to have on the world. Prompt others to share what makes them come alive. Share in their excitement. There is no more empowering, genuine way to connect. If you don’t know the impact you dream of making, how will you know who you want in your corner to make it happen?
2. Remove Toxic Friends
This one’s painful, but an absolute requirement. Identify the people in your day-t0-day life who you notice constantly put your ideas down. The ones who don’t support you and leave you drained after an interaction. Make a list. You must start spending less time around them. I’m not saying you need to be that extreme, but you must recognize how badly the wrong people can infect your potential.
3. Find New Surroundings
If you leave your toxic friends but have no one else to hang out with, you’ll likely go right back to them. You have to begin to attract the right people into your life. This can start as simply as seeing one inspiring friend for an hour every week or so. Take your passions and start to overlay them with the people in business and in life who see the world the same way. Take inspiration from everyone.
4. Discover Who You Already Know
The odds are that you or the people close to you already know a handful of people who could change your world. Go through your existing networks including friends, colleagues, past employers, alumni groups, sports teams, and friends of friends. Who’s already connected to you in some way that you’d like to get closer to? Make a list of at least five, but keep going as long as you can list names. Then start setting up lunches and meetings to reconnect.
5. Create Value and Learn to Help Anyone
All of us have things we can offer to others. Nothing feels better and nothing creates faster, more memorable genuine connections. What are your unique strengths, talents and passions? If you design logos, offer someone some free help with the branding for their new venture.
6. Build Your In-Person Community
As soon as you can, take the virtual connections into the real world. No matter how big or small your town is, you have to find people in the flesh and blood with whom you can spend consistent time. Check out meetup.com, Craigslist, Facebook and LinkedIn groups or the classifieds of your hometown paper. Or better yet, walk into a local restaurant or cafe and ask the owner what’s happening in your realm of passions. Start attending events and saying hello. Watch what happens.
7. Make People a Part of Your World
The more personal the better. Get out on double dates, have beers, go on workouts, travel together. Do anything you can to make these people a part of your life. But only if you genuinely care about having them in your life. People will see straight through anything less than honest intentions.
The most recent studies show that over 80% of people are not happy with their work. This is a tragedy. It also means that most the people around us encourage complacency. They endorse these lives of quiet desperation that so much of the world is living. They put down our ideas on how to be different, and think we’re crazy (or even stupid) for thinking we can take the road less traveled.
They tell us it’s impossible to actually build a life and career around work we’re truly passionate about.
The more time we hang around them, the more we start to believe it and the less we actually try to make a meaningful impact in the world.
But we have a choice.
We can choose to continue to hang around the people who tell us we’re stupid for thinking things could be different. Or we could surround ourselves with the people who inspire possibility. The choice is 100% on us. Either way, one thing is for sure. The people around us will change our world. The question is, will they kill our dreams or make them come true? That’s on you to decide.
After all, what could be possible with the right people in your life?
Main image by s.o.f.t.
About the Author
Punam Shah loves sharing her passions which are yoga, photography, cooking, writing, and traveling. Through all of these, she hopes to empower, inspire, and motivate you to bring out the best in you. She is a mother of her beautiful daughter named Ariya and has been married for 5 years to her soul mate and they live in Conneticut. She says she loves to travel, “because I want to increase my perspective of the world. Traveling has opened my eyes to different cultures, foods, diversity, natural wonders, religion and all that the world has to offer.” You can read her writing on her blog, Serenity and You. Follow her on Facebook, too.