How would you like to go on a tropical vacation with 80 people, all with something in common, and many of which you are fortunate enough to call your friends?! That was my week last week. I came back exhausted and most certainly exhilarated, which is just the way I like to live! But I also came home wishing everyone could feel the profound sense of belonging I always feel after one of these events.
In high school my fondest memory is being part of a State Championship football team. In college it was coming into my own with my fraternity. Today it's being a member of a Tribe of rag-tag professionals all committed to being the best at our chosen trade while growing and stretching one another in the process. Nobody handed us that trophy for being the best in the state in high school, we earned it with our own blood and sweat! In college I literally grew up alongside brothers I now consider lifelong friends. Yet never during the formative years of high school and college did I consider what I was doing, experiencing, and living through, as life altering as being part of those groups would prove to be. As a professional however, I know exactly how important my Tribe is to my development and even self-worth.
The choices of who we do life with are nothing short of the most important choices we make in all of life. From your spouse to your church and all your friends in between, your life's trajectory, and more importantly your happiness level will be a direct result of the relationships you forge.
The saddest thing for me is how many people miss this.
Relationships are not something we are taught in school yet everyone has heard "it's not what you know, but rather who you know" that gets you ahead in life. Still many, if not indeed most people, go through life doing life on their own. They bring home the bacon but once that goes to paying the bills there's often nothing left to feed their souls.
Everyone should be so blessed to be surrounded by the kinds of people that have come into my life. Unless you're a movie star you have to work at making that happen. Last week in Cabo San Lucas only happened because of a lot of work. And boy was that work worth it and then some!
Life isn't meant to be done alone. That message gets cemented for me every time I feel the joy of coming home to my greatest accomplishment; my family. Or when swapping war stories with a high school teammate or reconnecting with a fraternity brother. Professionally I would not have gone nearly as far or have the joy in my life that I do if it weren't for the people in my life I'm doing it with and for. We are getting better together. So if you find yourself less than fulfilled participating in "the grind" while not feeling like you're getting ahead, do yourself a favor. Do life with others who you want to make better. You just might find yourself getting better in the process.