I wanted to share a story. A story about surrounding yourself with people who support you and transforming WITH those people. In the end, though, this is a story about inspiring others.

I sent a friend a text this morning letting him know that I’m grateful for his friendship, inspiration, and ideas. It was a message that I think he needed, and I needed to send it.

Back to the Beginning.

About 7 months ago, I met one of my newest friends. We weren’t friends right away. He was a very talented person, but he also came off as a cut-throat hustler. He was a bit abrasive, very motivated, and wanted to control everything around him.

We disagreed frequently. I’ve worked very hard to cultivate a calm, collected, focused personality. It’s very difficult to shake me, but I believe that he tried. I’m not saying this to put him down in any way. He’s very good at reading people and finding buttons, and, at the time, he wanted to push those buttons for his own ends. Like I said earlier, he was a hustler.

After disagreeing about several things over several months, something happened. I stayed calm, shared ideas, listened to his (and other people’s) input. Then he eventually stopped trying to change me or push my buttons. I kept working on my personal philosophy, and he started to see my perspective, as I always tried to see his.

Once we both started to see our disagreements as opportunities to debate and find a good solution, things started to look up. Now, I’m happy to say that we’re very good friends. We’ve found common ground for our friendship based on philosophy, personal growth, business, and art. We debate, we offer each other advice, and we’ve both grown exponentially since the dynamic of our relationship changed.

Why I Inspire

I’m a firm believer that everyone has potential. From the lowest of the low to the mega-successful business owner. There’s potential for MORE. And I like to help people find that potential. So I gave my friend a gift of gratitude this morning, and it improved my entire day.

I’ve been watching my friends grow and improve their lives over the past several months. I’ve had a hand in those experiences. Whether it’s offering book recommendations, advice, or a good debate; I promote growth.

It feels great to make others feel appreciated and inspired. And helping to inspire my friends is letting me learn from what I teach. So I get to grow, too!

A Growth Mindset

I mentioned earlier that my friend tried to change me and didn’t succeed. I changed, anyway, but by my own reasoned choice, not the direct influence of anyone else. I’m not blind to seeing value in other people’s opinions. He was actually right on several occasions when we disagreed.

But the entire point of this was growth. We both wanted to grow, and I did it by helping build someone up, not tear them down. I weighed and balanced his ideas, and used the ideas that fit with my personal philosophy. I shared my thoughts, and my thoughts helped someone else do the same thing.

I’m fortunate to have someone in my life who challenges me, questions me, and shares a similar mindset. I’d like to surround myself with people like that, who can inspire me as much as I inspire them. I want people around me who can see that growth is possible. You aren’t stuck where you’re at.

Who Can You Inspire? (Or Be Inspired By…)

I love to inspire people. I love watching people grow from the ideas and advice that I can offer, and I pay attention to results. That’s how delivering inspiration can transform the person who delivers.

So I can be a little bit selfish in trying to inspire people. Not only does it make me feel good, if the effects of my ideas are positive to someone else, I can learn from their actions.

It’s strange how helping people transform can have such a profound impact on the person offering the help. It’s something that I can be grateful for every day – helping people, and giving myself hope by doing so. Maybe I won’t be the only person out there who does that. And maybe I can help more than one person at a time.

What about you? Who can you inspire today? Who is your inspiration? Get out and find other people and do great work together.

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