OK, so… why do we love to fixate on and get behind the rich and famous? Mega-entertainers, (oh Lord… those dreaded Beyoncé ‘Beyhive’ followers…), athletes (pick a team, any team), politicians (I promise: will say NO more), folks with insane wealth (I love you, Oprah!) What makes us call them “influencers”? Their visibility? Words? Money? All of the above?
We admire them because they’ve achieved a position in life that many aspire to reach, but few even come close. So instead, we follow them, mimic their look, wear their jerseys, quote their words, and form ‘teams’ (political, sports, fan followings) to cheer them on and bicker with each other in blind support. We rise and fall with them, have a bad day if they lose (Oh yeah! I’ve seen you little grumpies on Facebook the day after!) We even indignantly blame them for making mistakes in their own lives! They need to do better… BE better! They’re ‘role models’, for goodness sake! They’re influencers! What will the poor little kiddies across the world think?
Here’s the reality: The REAL influencers are around us every day. Our family, friends, social media tribes and work buddies. Folks who share a common history, experience, passion and vision. OUR reality largely reflects them. I once read a study that stated that we earn within $5,000 of our closest friends. Not sure how true it is, but I wouldn’t be too surprised. Variations of the famous quote, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future” actually has a Biblical origin (Proverbs 13:20 – “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed”). That’s good enough for me. I’m not one to argue (much) with the “good book”! J
The takeaway: If we aspire to grow beyond our excuses, to grow into the dreams we have for ourselves, we definitely need to keep an eye on the influencers around us to make sure we stay on course. How do we do that? Pay attention to the excuses you hear and speak when you interact with those closest to you. See who condones your excuses (avoidance loves company) and who tries to break them. Love them all, but stay close to the ‘excuse breakers’.
Who are the excuse breakers in your life? Who are the enablers?