Henry Ford, Automotive Giant
“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”
Think about your best friend. Most of the time this would be the person who encourages you the most, tells you how well you are doing and listens to you when things are hitting the fan in your life. We all need a person like this around us, and we feel good while we are in their presence.
Now, how about a person who will tactfully tell you the honest truth? Ooo, that’s a little tougher.
Hearing the truth can be a little unpleasant at times, especially when we hear we are not measuring up to our full potential.
So, which friend is more apt to help you improve and live up to your full potential? Is it the one who encourages you, and tells you how great you are doing, or the one who tells you truthfully what is needed to reach your next level of development?
If you want to improve, it is painfully obvious that the hard truth is just what the doctor ordered. This “best” friend will be one who is tactful, honest, and encouraging at the same time. They don’t just worship your accomplishments to date, they sometimes cajole and even push you a little to be better than you are today.
Once you have found such a friend, it’s time to get your ego in check and listen to them. The only thing to keep you from benefiting from the advice and improving yourself is….. well….. yourself.
The old saying that the Truth hurts is certainly true, and how much it hurts you is totally dependant on the thickness of the walls in your ego fortress. You best friend will not lay siege to your ego and batter their way in to give you what you need to hear. They will also not starve you out of your fortress by giving you the silent treatment.
When a person combines a true knowledge of what is best for your personal next step with a caring heart, it is a good idea to lower the drawbridge. Such a person will not force you to take their advice, as it is only effective when it is freely given and gratefully received.
A quote from Henry Rollins:
“Sometimes the truth hurts, and sometimes it feels real good.”
It may hurt to lower the drawbridge on your personal ego fortress, but the rewards can be tremendous when you are able to do so. That friend who can bring out your best is standing by to help.
Are you ready to move up to your next level of development? You can get there with a little help from your friends. And that feels real good.
There is great article on this subject on the Say It Better website. Check out the show notes for episode 37 for the link.
Yogi Berra, Legendary Baseball Philosopher
“So I’m ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face.”
Yogi Berra decided not to be a fashion model. I assume he had his reasons for doing so. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Choosing the thing he was best at for a career choice was probably the best career choice he could have chosen. History bears this out. His major league baseball record of catching, hitting, and coaching was quite legendary, and his homespun philosophy was also good for the sport, since everyone couldn’t wait to hear what he would say next. Many of his quotes have become the stuff of legend, and are used in our everyday conversations. Many times we have no idea where the actual words came from.
Through the ups and downs of his life in baseball, he always stayed true to his true calling. And he never tried to be fashion model even once, (as far as we know.)
“When I was born I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother.”
Mr. Dangerfield has had a career with a particularly caustic type of humor. The interesting thing was that he spent most of the time making fun of himself. While his success is unorthodox, and would very hard for most people to do so well, he took what he had and made the most of it.
It took him quite a while to define his true niche, and worked at such diverse things as a singing waiter until he was fired, a performing acrobatic diver until his performing career bottomed out and he gave up show business for a job selling aluminum siding to support his wife and family. He later said that he was so little known in show business at the time, that he was the only one that knew he quit.
He finally found his true calling, and in 1967 he filled in when the Ed Sullivan Show needed a last minute replacement for another act. His self-deprecating humor was a surprise smash.
Now, let’s apply this principle to ourselves. Are you trying to do something you really aren’t suited for? Many of us have jobs where we are just trying to make a living, and are not necessarily attempting to change the world, but what do you do with your spare time? Do you have some hidden talent, something you are really great at, that is just stagnating in obscurity?
It’s really sad when a person “could have been a contender” and all they did was just sit down, suppressed their passion, and never lived to their full potential on that one best thing they could do.
Think long and hard about this one. You could really become what you are meant to be. Even if you fail a few times in the attempt. Find it, and just don’t quit.