If you’re the smartest person on the room, you’re not in the right room! Think about that. Not only does being with smarter people expand your own knowledge and awareness, it also nurtures and motivates you. Are you in the right room? If not, where do you find a new one?
We learn from people who’re doing it differently than we are. We learn from those who’ve gone ahead of us. If we’re the leaders, we’re going to do something the way we know how to do it, not the new way the person ahead of us knows how to do it. As we haven’t learned that yet, we can’t pass it along.
I now know a lot about being online. As a senior person living in a senior community, I can tell you that the majority of people here don’t have any clue how to get online or use email.
So guess what? This isn’t a room that can guide me or challenge me or even encourage me in my online exploration. I may be the biggest player in this particular room, but where do I get help? Where do I go for advice?
I have to find a bigger room!
Do the people in your room know more that you do?
We only have so much time in our lives. How we spend it and who we spend it with determines how well we succeed and how far we travel.
We’re the sum total of the five people we hang out with most. Considering that life is a series of ongoing cycles, that means we change, they change and circumstances change. It also means that your circle of friends should change.
Have you taken a good look at the people you spend time with? Are they still supporting you wholeheartedly in the direction you’re going? If they’re not, who is? Go and hang out with those people who help you expand.
Are you just like everyone else?
I know, you’re witty and charming and fascinating to be with. But imagine yourself in a room with people all very much like you. That could get pretty boring.
You don’t want to just fit in, you want to be supported and inspired by the people in your tribe. You want to have to do more, play bigger, reach higher. If that isn’t happening, don’t you think you might need a new tribe?
Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. The people in my senior center were very content with the status quo of simply aging. But I’m not. I’m still producing, exploring and in service. It took me a while to figure out they were not my tribe, that I didn’t fit in and didn’t want to fit in. I was defiantly in the wrong room. I found my new tribe online when I formed the Deeper Song Community.
Who inspires you to play bigger, stretch further, jump higher?
Sometimes my inspiration comes in small bits from different places. It could be a line in a blog post or a point in a webinar. But the point is, I’m showing up in those places where that can happen.
Do you follow blogs that inspire and motivate you? Do you attend webinars that teach you things you don’t know? Do you listen to TED talks that make you think, or inspire you to action?
Identify your sounding boards and pay attention
I have three forms of sounding boards, and you can find them online.
With one, we write our ideas to each other, comment on what we think we hear and reflect it back to each other. Having a reflector is amazing powerful. It’s not about coaching each other, it’s about noticing the passionate places and the concerned places and pointing them out.
The second form is an accountability buddy. We make action agreements and talk to each other on a regular basis as we make promises and keep them – or don’t keep them. At which point, we discuss why we did or why we didn’t.
They third sounding board are the members of the Deeper Song Community who offer me feedback that inspires and motivates me. What they read, or don’t read, helps me understand what to do next.
Do you have mentors?
To have a mentor you have to be willing to accept guidance. You have to hear it, absorb it and apply it. Do you allow yourself to be guided?
There are many levels of mentoring: counselor, consultant, confidant, teacher, guide, trainer, tutor, instructor, advisor.
Who’s in your life that steps into one of those roles?
I have “in person” mentors and “people I study” mentors. There are people I follow online who regularly inspire me by the way they phrase an idea. Or they may respond to my email with encouragement about the importance of what I have to offer. I look for answers in my study of Taoism and the authors who interpret it.
And I, too, am my own mentor, my own cheerleader, my own trainer, guide, teacher and tutor. It’s up to me to find the guidance I need from the people and places that resonate most with me. It’s a rather eclectic collection, isn’t it, at this point in my life!
Each of you serves in a mentor role to others. Do you know who these people are and how you serve them?
Who are the explorers you follow?
Some people are already going places that you want to go. They’re ahead of you. They’ve explored several paths and left some markers for you. Find those people.
You may need a guide for a specific part of your journey. You may need someone who’s thinking about things you didn’t know you should be thinking about and who inspires you.
You, too, are an explorer because no one has ever gone down this particular path in exactly the same way as you. Are you leaving helpful signs for others?
You serve in many ways
Friend, tribe member, inspirer, mentor, explorer – which of these are you? You actually serve in all these roles. Who do you serve? Notice how you are served by others offering their support to you.
Are you playing in the right room? If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider: