There are infinite ways to experience life.
Some say that because every person's environment is different.
Others say, "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with."
Or, that for whatever experience there is, it's said, "that's life."
It is true that your life experience "is the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with."
But in a different way than you might think.
You see that average is your ceiling, not your floor.
They are who you look to mirror, but not rise above. We look to them for reference, for guidance, but not for too fast of growth.
Because if we were to quickly outpace the others, then this would leave us as an outcast in the group.
And because raising the average ourselves is a difficult task. It's much easier to find a comfortable equilibrium among the group.
And so raising the average has to come from an internal understanding about what is possible within you as the individual, instead of what is possible with you in the group.
If you listen to an interview with two of the greatest basketball players of all time, Lebron James and Michael Jordan, you'll hear this sentiment echoed...
Both have a strong internal compass. Both have not sought other leaders. Both have created ever higher standards for themselves.
Both say that "they cannot speak on behalf of their peers."
And they will be the first to say that their teams have been very supportive in the process of their success. That the unit of the team is what drove them to championships.
But notice that, for the other 4 team members (interestingly enough basketball is a team of 5), that they would also say that the "team" is what led them to victory.
And on that team, the star is also a teammate to pass the ball to, or to count on, or to be led by. This star wildly improves the experience of the others, because of their nature, and because of their expectation of themselves.
And so we see the leader who grows their expectation for what to experience is not selfish, rather they are the one that is most helpful to the group. They are more likely to meet the needs of others and a more desirable mirror from which to gauge your own life from.
We love and respect these leaders because as they demand more from themselves, we begin to demand more from ourselves.
We love and respect these leaders because we are secretly happy that we have permission to be more of what we can be.
That even with the infinite ways to experience life, the inspiration that comes from those who stand apart is so awe-inspiring that it drives us to understand that the only way to grow continually is not to reflect the group, but instead to raise the bar for ourselves, ever higher...