The people we look up to, and their influence on us

, , No Comments
On Sunday, I spent the entire evening with a wonderful friend, and at La Compagne Tropicana, Ikeja. It was like a one day vacation. But at the end of the day, I couldn't stop thinking about one thing she said. I had asked about her future plans and the reply started with a sentence that got me thinking non-stop, "Mike, all the people I look up to..." 
She's planning on making a very big decision. And a big part of the why is that the people she looks up to [her mentors] all made that decision.


There is a quote in the image above. It is by Bill Clinton and reads -- "People who grew up in difficult circumstances and yet are successful have one thing in common; at a crucial juncture in their adolescence, they had a positive relationship with a caring adult."

But I'd prefer to rephrase it as -- "People who became successful in life all had one or more great mentors."

I have always considered myself a loner. Right from my early teens I have had older friends (some even older than my parents) who took special interest in me. They were all genuinely interested in me -- my welfare, my career and my future. And somehow I've always made it impossible to for them to connect with me for long. I hardly call. I seldom return phone calls. I don't visit them. They learn about my progress from others [including Facebook] whenever life or career moves me somewhere else. 

I've always thought that all my life decisions were purely mine. Not hugely influenced by people, even those I look up to. So, when I heard her make that statement and in the most serious tone I've heard her speak. I began thinking about my life, the people I look up to, and the influence they've had on my life. And for once in my life, I realized that all my independent decisions weren't truly independent decisions. I have been following in the footsteps of the people I look up to.

Naturally, I was wired different than most people. There is not a single Nigerian I can point to as someone I look up to. In fact, with the exception of Steve Jobs, all the people I look up to lived several centuries ago. They all lived simple lives. They all followed their passions. They all had very few friends. They never bothered about public opinion. Most were self educated. Most were authors. Most married very late in life. And they all lived an unusual life. 

I looked into my life and realized that somehow all my life decisions are taking me down that route. Someday, I'll share those decisions. But now I don't have the courage.

And you? Do you also think your life decisions have been greatly influenced by the people you look up too?


Post a Comment

You can be sure of a response, a very relevant one too!

Click on Subscribe by Email just down below the comment box so you'll be notified of my response.