I saw this tweet recently I thought was funny- it said something like “I’m not original, I’m a melting pot of every woman I’ve ever admired.” That was a horrible paraphrase but you get the idea. I think it also really speaks to how much we are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with, and that’s been true for me especially since coming to college. At the times in our lives, like college, or whatever other transitional stage you’re going through, it’s essential to make sure we’re being shaped by people who are making us better. I’ve been lucky enough to find friends in school who are ambitious and scholarly and have values that match my own. My friends are leaders, and just by being around them, I’m driven to lead myself. I’ve also been fortunate to find people who challenge my values and the way I look at the world. People who surprise me and who contradict my initial judgments. This is my first piece of advice- push outside of your comfort zone when it comes to making friends. Seek out people who are different from you or people who intimidate you. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself comfortable among them.
The second way key to surrounding yourself with motivators is through the media you consume. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Right now, I’m reading a book by a peace and women’s rights activist and Nobel laureate. Her writing and her story is so much more impressive of my own, but it makes me think if she can overcome such enormous obstacles, I can 1) finish my literature review essay, 2) put myself out there and apply for a leadership role in an organization I’m passionate about and 3) take a risk on this blog. I’ve found that this inspirational fuel keeps me going, and revives me when college wears me down. So my second piece of advice is this- find things and people who inspire you, and turn to them when you feel worn out.
We’re not perfect and we’re not going to be motivated all the time. We live in a fast paced world and it’s easy to feel like you’re just being dragged along. In my experience anyways, I find the thing that keeps me going is inspiration, and that’s what I surround myself with.