Iron sharpens Iron
I’ve heard it said, “One of the biggest keys to success, is to surround yourself with like minded people that are successful”. This statement alone, is ambiguous at best. Successful at what, and to what extent, and to what cost? Is it equally important to surround yourself with others that share your feverence for success and the drive to reach the same goals? I think it takes both, and then some. Sometimes this means redefining your belief systems, redefining your self-worth, and sometimes even redefining… you!
Listen to what I’m about to say…. No matter your drive, no matter your will, you will still fail. It isn’t enough to know what you want. It isn’t enough to just know how bad you want it. Even if you believe you can truly achieve it, you WILL still fail – UNLESS…You surround yourself with people who have walked this talk before you, and not only achieved what you strive for, but continue to live it out daily. Take money for instance. Many have achieved wealth, but to what cost. Losing marriages, family, years of life, for this dream of wealth… is that success?
Now for my expertise, health and wellness, many people aim to get fit and change their lives forever but again, to what cost? Are they hating every rep of every exercise? Are they whining at every brussel sprout they swallow? Are they miserable in the pursuit of “happiness”? We must seek out friendships, mentors and teachers that can give us the direction, discipline and accountability we need to stay the course. Allow me to give you a few extreme examples I witnessed first hand.
Reality TV: Formula of Success
In 2oo7 I was the trainer for a summer weight loss reality show called “Fat March” that aired on ABC. A year later I was cast as the trainer for VH1’s “Bridal Boot-camp”, another weight-loss reality show. Working in this “reality genre” game gave me a firsthand look at the lengths production companies will go to making sure the environment created will not only produce results, but sensationalize the outcome. Take other weight loss reality shows into consideration as well. The formula for success is the same, and in all of these shows, the weight loss was truly amazing. Even the production companies, that know absolutely nothing about real weight loss still know, Iron sharpens iron.
When the cast was surrounded by people with like-minds, trainers who can help them reach their goals, taken away from temptation, and emerged in accountability 24/7, yes, the outcome was amazing… but so was the complete devastation of seeing it all unravel once they returned home. Except for just a few, the entire cast gained all of their weight back upon returning home.
So what happened? The one thing these “reality shows” do not teach is how to cultivate and control an environment that will perpetuate this new fit lifestyle. These people finally changed their lives forever – or so they thought. Some of them losing almost 200-300 pounds, only to return home and gain it all back again. Tragic! And it could all have been avoided.
If you suddenly quit drinking, would you lose any friends? If you wanted to save money and quit going shopping, would your friends finally quit calling? If you want to lose weight and stopped going out to eat, would your “bro’s” support you? The first problem is giving in… You might go to the bar the first time to hang out, and order water, but eventually your good intentions will fall prey to “just one”… shopping?… “oh it’s just an afternoon and, I haven’t seen my girls in so long”… OR.. “what could it hurt, I’ll go with the gang and just order a salad”.
LISTEN TO ME… Surround yourself with like-minded people who understand your drive as much as your weakness, ones who will pull you along just from the momentum they have in their own lives. People who will help you stand and lovingly hold you accountable. People who understand the depth of your commitment means more to you than the instant satisfaction of the moment. It’s the only way.
Whatever it is you are striving for, surround yourself with people who know the depth of your desire and are living it. It will be easier to stay on course and you will be strengthened in the process. You will know you are successful when someone is looking up to you too, the same way you were once looking up to others.