I, on the other hand, am sitting at home listening to self-development podcasts and taking character strength surveys. If things get really wild, I may put some laundry on and head out to run errands.
At 27 years old, I’m learning that I don’t need to make excuses for why I don’t want to do the things that everyone else is doing. I’m fun and carefree at times, I’m low-key and introspective at times.
Am I rude? No. Am I anti-social? No.
In fact, I would love to be hanging out with my friends right now. We could watch a documentary or work on our side hustles or have deep conversations about our lives and goals and plans for the future. Once all that stuff is done, I’d be down to drink and party as much as the next person.
Unfortunately for me, most people don’t want to spend a sunny Saturday stuck inside talking about self-help. And that’s okay.
I recognize that I’m the odd man out in this situation and I totally get that I can come off as boring or lame or a homebody. Let’s be honest, if you had the choice between going to a party with me or going to a party with one of my best friends – you’d probably pick my friends.
This isn’t to say that my friends don’t want to watch documentaries or listen to my thoughts on the Law of Attraction; it’s just that they may not want to do it at the same time as I want to do it, or as often as I want to do it.
And this goes two ways – I have friends who are way more into travel and music and arts and science and fashion than I will ever be. That’s their thing and self-help is mine.
We’re all different and we shouldn’t have to be everything to everyone.
I can’t expect my friend to be my friend but also by business coach and my fitness trainer and my therapist and my party pal and my spiritual guide. That’s too much pressure to put on any one person and, quite frankly, it creates a rather unhealthy air of co-dependence.
The challenge, then, is to find different people who complement and fulfill you in different ways.
This morning, I started to listen to the The Art of Charm podcast and stumbled upon the episode with Aaron Walker – a super rich, super successful and super inspirational businessman and coach. Early in the episode, he said something that caused me to immediately stop slicing up my cucumber and run to get a pen and notebook.
He said, “The enemy of excellence is isolation” and went on throughout the episode to talk about the Mastermind Group he has met with every week for the past 20 years. These are people who have no personal stake in his business or his life, but are simply connected on the basis of their shared values and their socioeconomic status. They meet, they talk business, they share ideas, they ask for advice and then they go their separate ways.
This is what I need! A Mastermind Group!
I need to find people who share similar interests when it comes to self-help and writing and building a career outside the confines of a cubicle. I need to meet bloggers and Instagrammers and coaches and communicators that have a growth mindset and are making a living sharing what they’ve learned with others.
Remember that character strength survey I mentioned earlier? If you’re curious, my top five strengths were as follows:
- Love of Learning
- Social Intelligence
- Perspective Wisdom
- Hope, Optimism and Future-Mindedness
- Humour and Playfulness (although you would never guess based on the way I’ve described my Saturday, lol)
When I saw “Love of Learning” and “Future-Mindedness” appear on the screen, I felt a wave of relief and validation.
This is who I am. Deep in my core, I get enjoyment from learning and I am always thinking about my future. So if I want to spend my Saturday listening to podcasts and making a list of goals to accomplish by the end of 2017, that is my absolute prerogative.
I’m doing what makes me happy.
While it may seems that this blog post is a “Wanted” ad for a mastermind group, it’s actually more of a reminder to always be yourself. Figure out what makes you happy and pay attention to how you spend your free time. Stop making excuses for why you’re not doing what everyone else is doing; you are you, they are them and together we make the world go ’round.
FYI – if you want to take the character strength survey, it’s by VIA Institute on Character and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Check it out and let me know if you learn anything interesting!