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“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Places to Meet People Who’ll Help You Achieve Your Dreams
According to coach and Speaker Shari Alexander, there are four types of people who will help us achieve our dreams: the mentor, the mark, the connector, and the sidekick. Perhaps by now, you have all four with you. Or maybe you have an idea which of your friends or family members will play these roles during your lifetime. If so, consider yourself very lucky.
More than giving you advice or being a shoulder to cry on, the people we encounter usually end up influencing us towards success.
In an article by professor of psychology Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., she states that having friends play a BIG part in shaping who we are. They can steer our thoughts and behaviors, define our priorities, help forge later romantic bonds, and even make us miserable. If friends are that powerful, wouldn’t it make sense to surround yourself with the best people?
If you’re having difficulty making your dreams come true, making the right friends could help turn these thoughts into reality. But what if you’re not that friendly? Too busy to make friends?
Don’t worry – sometimes, it’s just a matter of being at the right place, at the right time.
Here are six places where you’ll likely to meet people who can help you achieve your goals.
1. Your Workplace
Believe it or not, your mentor or sidekick could be your coworker on the other side of that cubicle.
Think about it: these are the individuals you spend 40 to 50 hours a week with (more, if you count overtime and those company outings). Depending on what you let them see, they’re pretty much familiar with your habits, as well as how you are in a professional setting. Plus, who else would understand your job-related rants?
In relation to Shari Alexander’s article, there are a couple of people from your office that you might want to be friends with because they could influence you to do your best at work:
- Your boss – he or she could be your mentor. After all, he or she has risen to the ranks. If you want to be a leader someday, there’s no one better.
- Your supervisor/team leader – if you feel awkward being friends with your boss, hopefully, this individual is more approachable and willing to lend you a helping hand. He or she may not be your mentor, but you can make this person your mark. If you can have him or her say “yes” to your project proposal, then that’s one goal down to reaching your dreams.
- Your coworker – who else would understand your daily struggles? He or she can act like your sidekick: helping you get through rough days or supporting you in your time of need. This person can also be your connector, helping you reach out to influential people in his or her circle.
Never underestimate the folks at your workplace. You never know what important lessons they’ll impart with you along the way.
2. Additional Courses
After college, I was lucky enough to further my language studies abroad. It was there that I met a couple of people whom I consider my connectors and mentors. They taught me how to network like a pro, develop my hobbies, and become a better version of myself.
I was never very friendly. So I began my relationship with them by letting them borrow my notes or letting them recommend books for me to read. In a span of several months, we all felt more comfortable around each other that we started eating out as a group. Until now, we remain close friends and I visit them whenever I can spare cash to go abroad.
Taking additional courses is not just to learn a new skill – use this opportunity to meet new friends, too! Do you like sports? You can join local teams in your neighborhood as a start. Want to develop your art talents? Sign up for programs at your local community center.
If your budget doesn’t allow for additional courses, ask your supervisor for related company perks. Some companies, like Chesapeake Energy, have generous incentives that take an employee’s interest in continuing education (i.e. tuition reimbursement) in mind. Ask your HR department for a complete list of your benefits today.
I love attending conventions and various seminars. It’s a great avenue to network with people in your field, but at the same time, make lasting friendships.
It was a leadership seminar back in college where I met a lifelong friend who encouraged me to join our university’s official publication. This in turn, helped me form a rich portfolio that became the key to my current job today as a copywriter and team leader.
You never know how our friends can affect our futures.
If your company is not offering seminars for their employees, go out and seek these opportunities yourself. The online service Eventbrite, is not just for creating events – it’s also a great way to find local happenings in your country or community. It will show you which events are for free, as well as make it easy for you to register.
4. At the Gym or Park
One of my mentors is my stepmom. She always offers valuable life advice, and I’m confident in her opinions as a friend and second mother.
Guess where my father met such a wonderful woman? At the gym.
Even though success is relative, ensuring that you’re happy and healthy is a requirement. And for many successful individuals, it begins with morning exercise. My dad, who likes to begin his day at 4AM, has a routine that includes at least 15 minutes of targeted exercise (which he designed for himself).
He’s not alone in thinking how important a healthy body is to an effective day: Barack Obama, actress Jennifer Aniston, and Chief Customer Officer of Kohl’s Michelle Gass, all believe in the power of exercise to push people to do their best.
Your personal trainer is not the only one whom you can pull with you to be a mentor. Imagine all the other great people at the gym, just waiting to be discovered. The next time you’re at the treadmill, why not chat with the person on the other machine? He or she could inspire you to be the next CEO or president!
5. Online Communities
Let’s face it: in the real world, we don’t usually have enough time to go out and find amazing people to help us with our dreams. Good thing there are now advancements in technology. With just a single click, we can connect with anybody around the world.
Joining online communities like forums or blogs is a great way to meet individuals who can be your mentor, sidekick, mark, or connector.
If you’re already subscribed to great blogs like Everyday Power Blog, try connecting with others through comments on your favorite articles. Are you an entrepreneur, designer, or marketer? Try like-minded folks from Slack, Reddit, or Hacker News.
Are you an artist? Be inspired and motivated at Deviantart, Tumblr, Pinterest, or Behance.net.
Love writing? Jot down your thoughts on Men with Pens, Brain Pickings, or Fiction University.
Find a Good Friend, By Being One
“I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails.” ― John Green, Looking for Alaska
It’s not just your friends who will have an impact in your existence – you, too, shall create waves in someone else’s life. You could be a mentor, a mark, a connector, or a sidekick for another person. You just don’t know it yet. That’s why inasmuch as you’re looking for the right people to help you achieve your dreams; you also need to support others in their endeavors.
As individuals, we need each other in this life. No man is an island. For every dream we create overlaps with that of another’s. Once you find this person who will help you realize your potential, make sure to return the favor.