“Surround yourself with people who are better than you. Their influence will challenge you to grow.”
I believe that the strongest relationships we have are formulated and maintained through those that bring the best out of us. And the most impactful relationships that do this are the ones that challenge us to grow. This occurs most often by those who are better than you. Author and Pastor Erwin McManus’ quote reminds us of this in today’s quote. It is important to understand that the purpose in having people that are better than you is not to make you feel bad about yourself and remind you that there is something you cannot do that they can but rather helps us set the stage for a powerful an inspirational message: with hard work, dedication and their guiding influence, you too can reach certain heights to bring out the very best version of you.
This quote reminds me of a similar saying we have in the field of education. We often tell our colleagues that we should never lower or water down the social/emotional and academic standards we set for our students because of our fear that they may fail or fall short. It is important that we keep that imaginary bar where it is at and have faith that they will rise to the challenge and one of our jobs is to catch them if they fall. And they will fall. That’s life. We are there to be a positive influence on them and encourage them to rise above certain challenges in order to make their dreams become reality. We need to remember that life doesn’t water anything down for us and if we do that for our kids we are unintentionally providing them a false sense of self confidence and the consequences of future failures (which can and most likely will happen) will be much more detrimental for them as they would never have developed the tools necessary to overcome these challenges.
I came across a resource by ThoughtOSoar that lists 11 things why we need to challenge ourself in order to change ourself. I feel there are explicit connections made to being around those who are better than us in order to challenge us. They are:
1. It helps you identify your personal and professional goals.
2. It helps you establish your priorities.
3. It motivates you.
4. It expands your mind.
5. With every successful change, you get gratification, a sense of contentment.
6. With every unsuccessful change, you learn something new to use in the next challenge.
7. It triggers creativity.
8. It will expand your social growth.
9. You get rid of the boredom, the drudgery, and the unhappiness.
10. You will lose the fear of the unknown.
11. It will help you achieve that big, audacious goal you have dreamt of, one small challenge at a time.
Remember not only should others challenge us to be our best but we need to do the same in challenging others to bring out their best too.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your relationship skills?