The people we spend more time with daily have an enormous influence on our lives, but have we stopped to think who those people are? Whether they are coworkers, family members, or friends, they can affect positively or negatively our goals. They can help us to get closer to where we want to go or push us to a completely different direction.
Our brain is designed for learning behaviors and habits from other individuals, even if we are not conscious of them. When we share many moments with someone, we get used to the way they see life through their eyes. We also familiarize to the way they handle responsibilities and how they express their ideas about different subjects. Indeed, we can deduct who we are or what type of person we are becoming by analyzing the people we hang out with.
In Praxis, we learned an excellent exercise that helps us to look further into the traits we want to gain and how the people around us are influencing in them.
For putting this exercise in practice, I first made a list of the five traits I want to improve the most in my life and what I expect to get from each of them. Then, I made a second list of the five people I spend most of my time with, and I pinpointed the main trait that defines each of them. Finally, I compared how the features that I want to enhance in myself compare to the ones of those persons around me. These were the results of the exercise:
The five traits I want to gain the most:
1.Confidence: Learning to trust in my skills and appreciate more the essence of who I am is crucial for becoming a better person in all the areas of my life. I know that if I accept myself more with all my strengths and weaknesses, then I can love more my husband, my parents, my friends, and those around me. Having confidence encourages me to keep putting my work habit to higher levels, because if I trust that I am already good at something, then I know that I can do it better.
2. Exceptional oral and written communication: I love to communicate with others in different ways. Either using my storybooks for empowering kids about achieving their dreams, expressing my learning experiences in the entrepreneurial world through my blog, or just communicating how I feel about certain subjects; it is vital for me to transmit what is in my mind. However, I would like to improve my skills for talking in public and being able to express my ideas more fluently.
3. Innovation: Content and product creation is a passion for me. It is very delightful to elaborate an idea in my mind and later being able to see it either physically or published in a blog or book. To be successful at this, I always need to have fresh ideas that I can transform into something that brings value to others. For this reason, innovation is a trait that I am continually pursuing and that I want to keep improving.
4. Relationship building: I consider myself a friendly person; I like to connect with people wherever I go, independently of their backgrounds and beliefs. I want to be able to create more robust and lasting relationships with others. I believe that when we generate stronger social links, the experiences that we live with those people are more meaningful and enriching for our lives.
5. Efficiency: Something that I would like to improve in my daily activities, personal projects, and my work is the speed in which I get things done. I know that I can take more advantage of my time finishing tasks with quality but also in shorter periods. In that way, I can invest extra time working on more projects or merely enjoying other activities.
The five people I spend the most time with and their main traits:
Steven Rose (my husband): Critical thinking and analysis
My husband’s most prominent trait complements many of the ones that I want to gain and improve in myself. He has strong critical thinking skills; he enjoys analyzing different topics and situations, comparing them with others when it is necessary, and making conclusions based on facts. Thanks to him, I am developing this skill, which is vital for becoming a great communicator and innovator. Gaining a critical thinking trait helps me to be able to write more compelling ideas and to explain my points of views in more profound ways. Additionally, my husband is a person who continually compliments my beauty, my drive, and my content creator skills, which is a confidence booster for me.
He works from home every day; which lets me observe how efficient he is with his work habits and routines. My husband also helps me to improve my English language skills because I keep practicing them with him. That is something valuable for me because Spanish is my mother tongue, and he is a native English speaker.
Ultimately, my husband is my biggest influencer and the person who motivates me the most to become a better version of myself.
2. Ketty Avila (my mom): Eloquence and communication
My mom is a great public speaker. She has worked as a broadcaster on radio stations and as a literature teacher. Her abilities for creating scripts for plays, acting, writing essays, and poetry are admirable. In the past, she has been the editor of storybooks for children that I have written, and she is the person who introduced me to the literature and art world. I keep continually learning from her, and when I write content in Spanish, she’s the person I always go to for asking for feedback.
3. Isaac Morehouse: Efficiency and Innovation
Isaac is the founder and CEO of Praxis. I have not met him in person yet, but I listen to his Forward Tilt and Office Hours podcasts twice a week, as well as read his books and his blog posts. The trait that best describes him is efficiency. Now that I am a participant of the Praxis program, I can see how well all the processes work here. Isaac is an innovator, too; he is changing the traditional approaches of education for a new one that fits each learner individually, according to their skills and interests in life. Innovation also means to keep finding ways to do our work in better ways, to wonder how we can do things differently for improving them and create more value. That is what Isaac is teaching me through the content that he creates, and through the projects, I work on in the modules of his apprenticeship program.
4. Nataly Figueroa: Sociable
Nataly is a friend of my husband and me. She is one of the most sociable persons I have ever met; constantly organizing groups of people and preparing plans for hanging out together. From hiking in the mountains to watching a soccer match at the stadium, she always likes to include everybody and make new friends. From her, I am learning how to make people feel welcomed, and that I care about them. Because I’m more an introvert person, being around her motivates me to be more talkative and decide to have more exposure with others too.
5. The group at my church: Solidarity
Every week I meet up with a small group of young couples at my church. I am learning that putting effort towards achieving my goals is part of honoring God. I also study about using my spirituality for overcoming situations in daily life and how to bless people around me with actions. In this group, we discuss topics like marriage and the things that work for us for having better relationships with our significant others. I think that hanging out and learning from them helps me to be more sociable and helps me to enhance my confidence because I need to interact with the members, showing my personality just the way it is. Being around them helps me to feel valuable and reminds me that sharing the growth that I have in certain areas also helps other people to overcome their difficulties in life.
After making the diagnosis of my relationships, I can conclude that the people I am investing most of my time with are inspiring and helping me to gain the traits that I want for becoming the individual I aim to be. I admire the features that they portray and they nurture the characteristics that I already possess.
I encourage you to do this same exercise and discover who is influencing your life the most. If you find out that their most significant attributes do not align with the ones that you want to acquire, I highly recommend you to take action and start spending more time with people that challenge you to be a better version of yourself.