There’s something to be said about the people you surround yourself with. Most often, we surround ourselves with people like us. They have similar interests. They have the same mannerisms. They may even like the same food. Sameness is very comforting, and we often turn to the people around us for comfort.
Is that always the best?
I believe that you should find people who complement you; however, there’s something more to it than just finding someone who helps bring out the person you want to be. When I say “your people,” I mean the people who speak to all the little parts of yourself that are just starting to grow. Or perhaps were passions that have slipped. Or things you never knew you loved.
So how do you find these people? First, know who you’re looking for. Take a moment and think back to school. I’m talking about high school, maybe middle, or all the way back to elementary. Think about the activities you used to do for fun or the clubs you joined. Do you still do those things now?
I used to paint all the time. You’ve seen some of my work, but I have had to actively remind myself to break out the brushes. It’s been tough over the last two years. I’m hoping as I move again, I’ll have more room for the mess that can be painting.
I also used to sing. I knew entire songbooks for more musicals than I can remember, and we had this landing on the second floor that looked over our living room that I turned into my stage. I would belt out any and everything. Pictures in the yearbook have me most often with a microphone in hand, and I was always up for karaoke. I stuck with it a little in college, and then it just disappeared.
My life has become more business-like and structured. Most of my creativity has been channeled into marketing. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But I realized I might lose the creativity by not growing it. I needed to not only grow this passion myself, but I needed others to help nurture my talents.
The second thing you need to do to find your people is to get off the couch and start meeting people. Say, “Yes” when an opportunity to join them presents itself. Shake off your shyness and introduce yourself to a stranger. Are there book clubs or kickball teams you can join? How about networking events or alumni groups? Are there work environments that naturally bring together a collection of your people?
I have all kinds of inspirational people entering my life right now. Writers and designers. People who want to create something and have a little fun. Perhaps some singers in there, too. Within moments of beginning to meet these people, I realized that they’ll be reigniting some of the passions I once had. They’ll teach me new things.
It took a conscious decision on my part to begin surrounding myself with my people. They didn’t just fall in my lap. But I am so glad that they are going to be around to help me grow.
Finding people too similar to you is boring. The fun is in difference. Think about who you want around you, and go out and find them.