I believe we become like the people we hang around. In my early years that was not a good thing. Before I really knew God my saving grace was entering the United States Air Force however, I went through many years of learning the hard way. Until 1992 I could count the number of people that I have considered good friends on both hands and not use all of my fingers. Each of them had an interest in my life, and I in theirs, that went past the enjoyment of hanging out together. We were and are concerned about the kind of person each of us was becoming. Keep in mind, I do not think we were consciously concerned, but I can see in retrospect that our care for each other and the willingness to “call someone out” on their behavior shows a deeper relationship. When I began searching for people that embodied and supported the kind of person I wanted to be, things changed.
What does it have to do with you, your education, your career, your life, your family? Plenty. In the core of who we are, all of us desire to be strong people. The kind of person that can weather and benefit from adversity. Strong people always give their best in any given situation. Circumstances may prevent my best today from being as good as my best yesterday, but it doesn’t matter as long as my best comes forward. One of my early mentors (Bo Short) said always lead, and always give your Best and Highest effort. This has proven to be a very effective model to embrace.If a road is worth traveling, it is worth my best effort. Strong people play to win. That matters because mediocre effort is the strategy of choice for the masses. So many choose the path of “just getting by” and then wonder why the best things in life never arrive. Those who pursue excellence live by a different code. With every step, they put their best foot forward.
Something that is seldom noted from the outside about strong people is how purposeful they are about their influences. To the casual observer, they seem to be freaks of nature that walk the earth like super heroes, but their hidden strength is from what pours into them. If we are involved in caring and open friendships with people that embody or at least understand the kind of people we want to become, our choices regarding the rest of our influences change. In my 20’s and 30’s When I ran (or stumbled) through a deep party lifestyle, who do you think I surrounded myself with? Not friends by the definition I gave above, but with people who would not hold me accountable to a higher standard. I associated with those that reflected the person I was comfortable being.
What I have learned is that strong people aren’t concerned with comfortable lives as much as they are with quality lives. In order to have a quality life of strength and meaning, we often must get rid of the things that dull our senses and hold us back. The best way to do that is with the people you are surrounded by. The Bible speaks of the best relationships as those where “IRON SHARPENS IRON” (Proverbs 27:17), but how can we find such relationships if we are content to be a softer grade?
Begin TODAY by deciding what kind of person you want to BECOME. The “cide” at the end of decide means, “to put to death”. Sui-cide, homi-cide, insecti-cide… When we de-cide, we put to death other options. Who do you want to become? Quit giving yourself outs and options and COMMIT to your VISION. Being strong and in constant pursuit of Excellence is a LIFESTYLE, Not a Goal. Do not expect all of your old tendencies to go quietly, but concentrate on to the life awaiting you!
Become the Best you!