Steve Pavlina advises people to surround themselves with exceptional people. It’s advice found in many self-improvement books as well, and something I firmly believe in. High-energy, successful, happy people around you will inspire you to be like that too.
It started with my family. My dad’s passion for his work taught me
that you could reach greater heights if you’re doing something you’re
passionate about. My mom’s books and stories taught me to appreciate
the business that supports and is built around such passion. My
sisters showed me what it was like to make your own paths and take
those adventures. My godparents showed me how wonderful a supportive
group of friends can be. My high school friends were also supportive
and inspiring, and they dreamed big dreams too.
I fumbled a bit in first year college because I was more focused on
fitting in, but when I went back to my roots and joined the dorm
network team, I found another amazing group of geeks. And I don’t
really know how we all got together, but the friends I made while I
was teaching totally, totally rock as well. We face different
challenges and we may not face all of them successfully, but I really
admire their attitude towards life. They are fundamentally happy.
I seek out groups like the Toastmasters. I want to be a professional
speaker, and being surrounded by people working on their communication
skills is absolutely fantastic. I love talking to people who are
passionate about teaching and research; they give me an idea of what
lies ahead. I am inspired by people who are making a difference or who
are working on doing so, like Lawrence Hughes and Maoi Arroyo in terms
of Philippine IT opportunities. I admire Mario Carreon for his passion
for teaching even as he gets heartbreaking results from students. I am
surrounded by excellent people, and the more I learn from them, the
more people I find.
Surround yourself with exceptional people. It isn’t easy. You can’t
just say “I want to get to know you” and leave it at that. A daily
“Hi” is much less effective than the occasional “I’d like to know more
about …” or “What do you think about …” that takes the person’s
interests into account. But you can do it, and you’ll learn so much by
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