Anyone who knows me well enough or who has been reading my works for long enough knows I subscribe to Elliott Hulse’s philosophy and guidance of becoming the strongest version of yourself. Once again this man who I consider a mentor has brought forward another interesting metaphor on how to view other people your life.
I’m not entirely sure whether this is something he came up with himself or if he is referencing someone else’s idea. Nevertheless, it’s the metaphor and life outlook I’m looking for, not necessarily the mind behind it.
I’ve posted his video on the subject at the bottom of this article if you want to check out what he says as I know everyone, including me, will perceive this idea slightly differently. Anyway, onto business.
The People in Your Life
Everyone you encounter, be it in real life, the internet, TV or even someone somewhere in the background has a direct or indirect influence on your character. Because of this, it is natural that both your friends and family influence you the most. Now some people might see this as kind of scary in a way and I can totally understand that.
It can be a terrifying idea to think that if one of your friends is a deadbeat alcoholic, you’ll become more and more similar to that type of person over time, however this is only the case if you fall into imitating this person. Meaning if you don’t want to be a deadbeat alcoholic, you won’t, so don’t worry… Well unless you end up that way through other means, but that’ll be your fault, not your friend’s.
So don’t feel you need to weed out your friends or be overly selective when choosing them either because they’ll all generally be good people who you can have a valuable friendship with. Instead take a certain approach to everyone within your social circle.
View them in such a way that allows you to become a stronger person. How other people act can tell you a lot about yourself in many ways and this is the key to evolving as a person. Viewing them in three different ways will facilitate this. Look at them as an Angel, a Crystal Ball and/or a Mirror.
The Angel is a person who helps you forward in life by giving you what you need, sometimes without even realising it. Maybe it’s that guy who is very helpful when it comes to a certain skills that you want to improve. Maybe it’s that person who gives you that bit of information just at the right time to make a certain decision. Or maybe it’s even just lending an ear when you need to talk or vent.
This is someone you know that you wouldn’t be in the same place today if they hadn’t offered help or information to you in the past. They may never end up doing the same again in the future, but they had a hand in pushing you to the strength you have today.
It might not always even be positive as well. Maybe that kid that bullied you for a while in school motivated you to stick up for yourself or make yourself into a better person. This person is still and angel in your life even if you don’t like them. Just because the term Angel is often described as holy and good doesn’t mean it can’t be applied to the bad as well, I mean Satan was an angel wasn’t he?
Look out for the angels in your life, they may just end up pushing further forward again at some point in your life.
People who are Crystal Balls help you see how your future can turn out. It goes hand in hand with what some people will say if you were hanging around with people who misbehaved a children “You’re hanging around with the wrong crowd, you’ll end up getting into trouble!”. Someone is looking at them as crystal balls and determining the future.
Going back to the example of the deadbeat alcoholic friend again, we could look at him as a crystal ball and say that this is my future as well if I go along with all the things he does. Sometimes seeing something like in someone you know can make you want to back off a bit and create some space, and this is perfectly fine. However just because you see this future in someone else, that doesn’t mean you should jump t conclusions and assume that you’ll become an alcoholic just because your friend is, it’s all about perspective. Someone might see great things in their and their friends future, while someone else can perceive the opposite.
It’s all about your perception of how you see your future through other people. Stick with your gut but avoid shunning people because you think your future will be bleak with them, they’re probably a great friend but have just had some difficulties on their journey of life. If anything, see a future with you helping them through it all.
I saved my favourite for last, The Mirror is someone you can look at and see weaknesses and strengths in yourself from their actions. This doesn’t mean you look at someone and go “He’s weaker than me and I’m stronger”, it’s not about anyone being superior or inferior. This is about looking at how you can improve yourself by looking up to them for what they are good at.
If you realise that someone is great at speech from talking to them and that makes you realise that you want to improve your speaking abilities then that is you viewing them as a mirror. You’re seeing how you can make yourself a stronger person by drawing inspiration from their actions.
Looking at people as a mirror is something I think a lot more people should indulge in to better themselves. Too many people nowadays will look at someone different and only look at how different they are from themselves, not how they can improve themselves from what he other person has.
This isn’t an invitation to try and become better than everyone else you know at everything, it’s a way of looking at people and realising more about one’s self. Understanding yourself brings you that much closer to self-actualisation and becoming the strongest version of yourself.
Next time you’re in the company of others, look at them and think what they tell you about yourself, you just might learn a thing or two. And it’s worthy to note that a person doesn’t usually just fit into one category or the other. A friend can be all three to different degrees, it all depends on who they are and how your perceive them.
Here is Elliott Hulse’s video on the subject. The main idea is the same, though my perception of how this works may be slightly different to what he believes, thus take both perspectives in and come to your own conclusions. Enjoy.
Featured Image: ©Kevin O’Mara