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Collect the Virtues of Your Mentors

You may recognize in your life people that have helped you at a difficult time or situation, or you have someone in your life that you admire most because of their achievements. Whether you hired them as coaches or you were just observing them, if you think of it, you can learn something from everyone you meet in life.

I invite you to give thought to the virtues and bad habits of the people surrounding you, and cherry-pick these virtues, and pick up these for yourself. I can provide some examples of bad habits you don’t want to pick up: drinking, badmouthing, gossipping, among others that imply some sort of shady behavior.

Since nobody’s perfect, I consider that most people have sort of a ying-yang personality, a light side, and a dark side. No one on Earth is 100% made of a bright side and no one that is totally a charlatan. Be sure to identify the right traits you want to adopt.

A few years ago, I met a business owner who is very driven at work. He does indeed have a strong work ethic, but almost every action he does seems disconnected from one another. As a consequence, his business has stalled. The good trait here is the robust work ethic, the bad one is lacking strategy. Imagine how better his life would be if he took a mere 10% of his time to organize his company into growth.

I personally don’t recommend becoming the copycat of a person you admire. That comes with vulnerabilities:

  • You never have the entire context of that person’s life, so you aren’t effectively copying them: We are never in the head of these people. I, for instance, don’t know what the day-to-day life of Elon Musk looks like.
  • You’re also bringing in bad traits into your life: Some people have indeed had great achievements in spite of personality disadvantages, or physical challenges, but that’s not something you want to bring unto yourself needlessly, because you already have your own challenges to overcome. Instead, work on developing the discipline to work on your goals.
  • You’re ignoring your own virtues, and trying to force into your life strengths you may not be able to leverage: The best version of yourself is the one you can become, thanks to your own abilities you can and should leverage.

People tend to tell stories about themselves and how life developed for them. You will benefit from learning what was the outlook of their life and the context at that moment they achieved something you want. Sometimes their advice is not of help, especially if it was just an opportunity they have taken advantage of and it’s one you don’t have at hand. However, if there’s anything you can control is your own mindset, identify what their life's outlook was back then.

You must develop your own criterion to identify what good traits you want to bring onto your life, in such a way that you know you’d benefit from it. The years of experience dealing with people will give you the wisdom needed to determine such virtues you should collect for yourself.

Until next time,

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15th Jan 2024