As Iron Sharpens Iron
It’s my favorite proverb, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” It’s also what I use as a plumb line in forming any relationship that I put myself into. I always want to improve, to be a better husband, father, friend, writer; to be a better man. One of the greatest ways to do that is by surrounding myself with people who are going to encourage me to press forward instead of pulling me backwards. Therefore, I look for certain character traits in people I want close to me.
First is integrity. I want honest, trustworthy people who will encourage me in the standards I have set for myself and our family. I don’t want people who are bad mouthing others or sowing discord. I prefer people who bring a positive aspect to life, always faithful.
Furthermore, I look for upbeat people. Those who are constantly negative and gloomy can wear you down. I want friends who are going to lift me up and help me see the positive side of things as opposed to the darker. I want to hear laughter and see smiles more than be overshadowed by the storm clouds of a life that is determined to claim pity from all those around it. I want to be with people who have a hunger and thirst for life and are determined to squeeze every ounce out of it that they can.
I also surround myself with dreamers. I don’t want to be with people who are happy to merely exist. Dreamers want to achieve something while walking the planet. They want to leave footprints, not just stir up dust. People who have goals that they are working toward have an excitement about them that’s contagious. To be in the midst of these people drives me to work harder on my dreams, to risk something instead of playing it safe.
There are people who will dull your edges. They don’t care if you succeed in life or not because they don’t really care if they succeed. They have no standards and even fewer ambitions. They aren’t there for the long haul and are usually absent when trouble comes. These are people best avoided and left behind.
Furthermore, people who always seem to have a crisis going on in their life will dull your edges and slice away your productivity by consuming your time. I’m not saying people can’t have problems, but these people are a constant problem. Every day brings a new catastrophe and they need you to hold them up while they wither in place. They are a constant distraction that will only drain your energy as opposed to boost your morale.
As iron sharpens iron, it’s important to your success to surround yourself with those individuals who are going to push you to be the best person you can be. You’ll shine as they help you polish the nicks in your life that need buffed out. Hopefully, you’ll be doing the same for them and together your friends and you can reach the heights that you’re climbing for, each pulling the other upward.
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