I'm sure you've heard this before, but I want to dissect this statement a bit today. When I read it, I see 3 solid parts:
1. The great people who raise your average.
This is usually the initial thought response when I contemplate my average. Who do I need to go find to make me better? Someone who works harder in the gym than me, someone who can keep their hands out of the bag of chocolates sitting in the cabinet, someone who knows where they are going in life and has the perfect map to get there, someone who is so in-tune with God that they can't even hear the world speak anymore, you know, the all-around perfect people. I begin designing the check list for any potential candidates who want to take part in raising my average. This is dangerous because it breeds feelings of insecurity, unworthiness, and insufficiency. I'm not saying don't choose new friends, but I think that this thought process of searching for perfectionism in others and praying it rubs off on you isn't such a healthy response.
Instead of expecting your friends to be perfect, why don't you search for people who see the good in you. Doesn't that help raise your average? Maybe their confidence in you will rub off instead, leaving you feeling accomplished and driven. When you stop trying to make the perfectionism in others rub off on you and begin pursuing greatness with everything in you, the paradigm shifts a bit. To make it short and sweet: great people show you the greatness in yourself. Redefine great and realize that it doesn't equate to perfectionism.
2. The people who bring you down.
This is a bit harder. If your gut reaction is to start nixing people from your life and change your phone number, that's not the best place to start. Rather than leaving people behind, why not take them with you? Take them out for coffee and let them know how their words bring you down sometimes, whether they are spoken with that intention or not. Explain that you are trying to become a better you and that you really need encouragement and people who will lift you up. Give them an opportunity to grow with you and be a part of that instead of just assuming they will never change. If they truly are that critical, they have probably had a lot of people walk out on them and have already experiences a lot of hurt. Teach them how to be a friend and be someone who invests in them to help them raise their own average, even though there isn't much in it for you. Sometimes helping others leaves a bigger imprint on our hearts than we realize. This leads me to the third piece of the statement:
3. The role that you play in the average of others.
Don't let this part turn into a self-sabotaging disaster. Let it motivate you to be the best you that there is. Show others how to believe in themselves by setting an example. Kindness rubs off on everyone. You will be so surprised how far you come when you begin to invest in others by investing in yourself. Seek to be an uplifting friend and speak words that will help those around you soar to new heights.
What are you doing to invest in yourself and others this week?