For the past seven years I have presented my “What If?” Keynote Experience for the Youth Citizenship Seminar at Pepperdine University.
250 high school juniors spend a week living on campus experiencing speakers and activities in a life-changing event. Captain Charlie Plumb, George Foreman, Ben Stein, Darren Kavinoky, Marilyn Sherman, Scott McKain, Tommy Lasorda, and others donate their time and even pay their own travel for this event.
Why? First of all it’s the right thing to do. But for me I admit, there is a second, semi-selfish reason.
I get to hang out with these people! First of all, the kids are inspirational! But so are the other speakers. I get to soak up the wisdom of world champions, war heroes, people who’ve overcome amazing adversity, and those who have risen to the top of their respective fields.
My friend, Dr. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University and owner of Great Harvest Bread Company says:
Who you spend time with is who you become. -Dr. Nido Qubein
So, look around at your friends… who are you becoming?
You don’t have to be a speaker or artist to do this. There are amazing people in your world right now… a boss, pastor, colleague, family member or even a neighbor who models greatness in some way.
Who inspires you?
Choose that person(s) and very intentionally spend time, develop a friendship or ask them to be a mentor.
Here’s your guide: Does this person exemplify something to which you aspire?
Now, this does not mean having an elitist litmus test. To the contrary, character is how you treat people who can do nothing for you.
Clint Eastwood was once dining at his own very exclusive Monterey golf club and heard one of his high-net-worth members verbally dressing down a server. Clint promptly wrote him a check for his membership fee – $250K – and had him banned from the club permanently. (Gotta love that!).
There is one exception: You may need to remove toxic people, those who drag you down, from your life. There is no honor in keeping this kind of person around.
So, decide who you want to be, find people with those traits, and intentionally build a friendship.
Please share this!
Live Truly, Truly Live,