I'm wide awake on a long haul flight. Cape Town to Dubai. The first of three flights home. It feels like everyone else on the plane is snoozing apart from me. But hey, that's ok. Maybe I'll catch some zzz's on the next one.
Instead of sleeping, I've been thinking. About the last few days, and really, the last few months.
This year has been kind of intense in terms of travel… a whole heap of trips, which most people assume means lots of time hanging out, relaxing, but actually tends to be a whole lot of hustle added on to sleeping on friends couches, working from airports and desperately trying to find good enough wifi connection to have skype calls.
But the travel this year has had a different vibe to it. A good proportion of it has been focused on spending time with phenomenal human beings.
I know, I know, it sounds like such a cliche, but that quote about being the sum of the five people you spend the most time with? Yeah, turns out that's absolutely bang on. And here's what I'm learning - You have to be pretty damned determined to curate that in your life.
It's not (at least not in my experience) something that just magically happens. I live on a pretty small little island - so I guess it's not surprising that there are times when I feel like the odd one out. So much of what life looks like for me is almost the polar opposite of most folks at home. There isn't a big entrepreneurial community there, and there are even fewer purpose-driven businesses, which means sometimes it's pretty tough to have the kind of conversations that totally light me up.
And that's where the curation comes in. That's where the commitment comes in. Doing pretty much whatever it takes to keep the conversation going. To invest your time, energy, and quite often, your money into making sure you're spending time with the right people.
There's a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that I love :
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.
And for me, it's always a reminder of when I'm in the right room. Because the conversation is exciting. The kinds of conversations that go deep and ask big questions of you. The kinds of conversations that can go on for hours but feel like minutes. And most importantly, the kinds of conversations that inspire action.
So when a friend suggests you apply for a scholarship to go spend 8 days with an incredible bunch of social entrepreneurs, you apply. When you get asked to run a workshop for the B Corp community, you book the appropriate trains, planes & camping spots. And when a bestie calls and asks you to jump on a long haul flight to spend three days talking branding, business & collaboration (and spend a good chunk of time playing in the ocean haha) - you re-arrange your week and just make it happen.
These things don't just fall into your lap. And there's normally a whole bunch of logistics involved. Sure, maybe there's some serendipity in there. Maybe even a touch of magic. But mainly? It's an understanding of the power that these kinds of friendships have.
Are you investing your time in the right relationships?