I’m going to come right out and say it; I have the best people in my circle and my life. I’m extremely fortunate and grateful to be surrounded by people that drive me, guide me, give abundantly, add value to my life and make me laugh harder than the Joker during the interrogation scene in Dark Knight. I would occupy a foxhole with any one of them, confident that they’ve got my six.
A lot of friendships are superficial and born from convenience. There are few friendships that are deep and meaningful in my opinion. It all comes down to values. I’m extremely fortunate, because our values align. We don’t agree on every single thing of course, but we’re in alignment on the “big” things. Here are some examples and markers I look for:
- Give more than you take. I have too many examples to name, so I’ll stop at a few. My friend and mentor Mike has let me borrow at least five of his books, helping enhance my knowledge in the field and get better. He has stepped-in and helped me troubleshoot movements with clients so many times I’ve lost count. When I go to train my client (and our kickass content creator/business developer) Sushma, she feeds my freaking dog. She cooks a sweet potato, removes the skin, mashes it with a fork and serves it to her on a real plate. On busy days at the gym, my coworker Tim shares half of his food with me while we’re rushing between sessions.
- Serving others first. I’m proud of the fact that the coaches, mentors and friends I have are amazing at what they do. The best part though; they serve with compassion and humility. They’re not in it for the spotlight. Regardless of their profession, they show up ready to roll up their sleeves and be the best they can be. I absolutely love it because I have to step up big time to even attempt to keep up!
- Always learning, always improving. Whether it’s books, audio books, conferences, certifications, virtual courses, you name it. My people invest a tremendous amount of time, money and energy into their continuing education. It creates an environment of constant learning with a pinch of friendly competition.
- Students, not experts. Everyone in my circle is very quick to say “I don’t know.” There’s no ego among us, we are always ready to refer to a professional with more experience. To quote Qui Gon Jinn, “There’s always a bigger fish.”
- Giving back. Even if it’s a small amount, I strongly believe we should all give back to our community. Whether it’s donating a few dollars to an organization or giving your time (or both!), we can all do something to bring light to the dark corners in our neighborhoods. During the shutdown, Mike hosted donation-based virtual fitness classes and gave the proceeds to the Loveland Foundation. Sean did the same with his classes, donating a percentage of his monthly earnings to them as well. Our latest guest on the “Beers & Bells” series Hua Ching ran 24 miles in 24-hours and raised over $10,000 for the Black Lives Matter movement. Collectively, we hosted the first annual “Fitness for Good” event last Christmas. It was a “free” group exercise class led by us, the price of admission being a toy. My wife Lauren and I proudly packed-up our Rav-4 and delivered them to the Home for Little Wanderers.
This is purely based on my experience, but I strongly believe that the 5 main points are the key ingredients to building a kickass community. When a group of people whose values align come together, serve a higher purpose and give, nothing is impossible. That’s the true meaning of the Strong Squad and #strongsquadassemble. Because just like the Avengers, we’ve assembled and have some amazing things planned for the future.
To your lifelong health and success,
Here’s the next episode of “Beers & Bells.”