Show Me Your Friends and I’ll Show You Your Future

John Donne wrote, “No man is an island…”

Don’t treat yourself like an island during self-reflection.

Our world expands when we understand ourselves in connection, not isolation.

Self-reflection reeks of conceit when its main concern is self-advantage.

A few months ago, I made a list of friends to use as points of reflection. It’s one of the best things I’ve done for personal development. I ask questions like:

  1. How are they fulfilled? Frustrated?
  2. What attitudes, behaviors, and choices enrich their fulfillment or multiply their frustration?
  3. How might I emulate a quality that serves them well?
  4. How might I take warning from their example?

When faced with tough decisions, I ask myself, “What would (insert name) do in this situation?”

The Achievers in my life nudge me toward urgent action. The warning I take from Achievers is enjoy the process and don’t bowl over people. Frankly, I bowl over people without anyone’s help.

Empaths nudge me toward consideration of others. The warning I take from Empaths is don’t make things harder than they actually are.

Optimistic friends teach me to lighten up. See the good side. The threat of optimism is underestimating difficulties.

Wooers remind me to build and maintain relationships. The threat of woo is talking too much and listening too little.

The Commanders in my life teach me to make decisions quicker. The warning I take from Commanders is don’t expect people to perform in their weaknesses.

Fundamental observation:

Those with the deepest commitment to personal development and growth experience more opportunity and contribution. They often overcome patterns of frustration that I see nagging others.

Effective self-reflection – with others in mind – grants entry to the influence of others in your life.

Get intentional about the influences you allow on your leadership.

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Unknown

What valuable lessons or warnings have you learned from others?

Bonus Material:

How to Learn from People Around You (Even if They Have Different Views) (Forbes)

How to Succeed in Life by Learning from Others (Life Optimizer)