“Our chief want in life is someone who will cause us to do our best” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few weeks ago in my blog, I mentioned about Andy Andrews being on my Board of Advisors. Since then, several people have asked me exactly what that means so this week I thought I should explain it. I have a personal Board of Advisors that help me make critical decisions in life and that teach me from their experience and knowledge. You should have a personal Board of Advisors as well. One of the biggest mistakes we make when we are young, at least this was the case for me and it is for a lot of others as well – is that we know everything, or at least we think we do. We end up learning a lot of things the hard way. At some point, we realize there are others who may have already made mistakes and can teach us a thing or two that would help us avoid some of those same mistakes. In other words, we can learn from the wisdom acquired by others.
Not everyone can be an expert in all fields. Sure, you might know a lot about a specific topic, but chances are pretty good, someone else may know a lot more than you do about that specific topic. Take for example, gardening. I grew up on a ranch and have been working in a garden for a long as I can remember. I still grow a small garden most years simply because I love doing it. I find it quite rewarding preparing the soil and nurturing the plants along and finally enjoying real food with no preservatives or insecticides. Through the years, I’ve learned a great deal about gardening, but when I have a specific problem, I’m not above seeking someone who knows far more than I do about it.
What does any of this have to do with my personal board of advisors? I learned a long time ago that I really don’t know everything, and that if I put my ego aside, I can learn a lot from other people. I can have other people “advise” me on what I should do, and the great thing is, there are experts in every field you can think of! Business, sales, investing, marriage, leadership, spirituality, health, you name it – someone knows a lot about it! All you have to do is find someone with the extensive knowledge that you desire and give them a spot on your personal advisory council.
Now you may be thinking, “What if they don’t want to be on my personal advisory council?” That’s the beauty of it – they don’t even have to know they are on your council! Half of the people who hold seats on my advisory council are people I have never even met! But I can still read their books, or I can still listen to their speeches or I can still attend their seminars.
As Emerson said, “Our chief want in life is someone who will cause us to do our best”. Think back to your favorite teacher. Was it the one who let you get away with everything or was it the one who held you to a higher standard and who caused you to be a better student. I’m willing to bet that for most people it is the latter. The same can be said about parents. I look back at the kids I grew up with. Those who had parents who held them to a higher standard – for the most part – turned out to be pretty successful. Those kids learned quickly how to learn from others.
No matter what it is you want out of life, find the person who can help you attain it. They don’t even have to know they are helping you, although most people who are truly successful at what they do are more than willing to mentor others. But the person you find to mentor you may be thousands of miles away and a personal face-to-face mentorship may be unpractical. Don’t let that stop you from learning from them.
What areas in life do you need help in? Who do you know that has been very successful n those areas that might be able to help you along?