Cover Me

You know the part in a war movie when a soldier yells “Cover me!” and his squad shoots at the enemy while he makes a run for it?

We deserve people that make us feel covered.

It’s a coworker who takes our shift. A friend who holds space when we spiral. A therapist, a coach, a group.

We aren’t covered by positions or titles. We’re covered when we have people we can depend on.

The problem is that we aren’t assigned a team that covers us once we strike out from home. So, if you’re like me, you ended up with a circle that chose you at first.

I had some amazing and not-so-amazing times with those people, but the flow of my life depended on their traits, personalities, and habits that I unknowingly absorbed. Life moved forward, but because I hadn’t consciously chosen my circle, I drifted in whatever direction my friends did. My own habits, traits, and direction was outsourced to the group I found myself in.

Spoiler alert: I liked those people, but I didn’t like where my life ended up at.

Unwinding those behaviors and habits would take longer than they needed to. But I wouldn’t change a thing because I learned a secret you can use to unwind them faster.

“Ditch cool kids, and surround yourself with people who naturally display traits you want in your life.”

Those traits will grow on you, like moss. You’ll have new examples of how to live in a way that builds you into who you want to be.

Do you want to live vibrantly, eat well, and be active? Notice those traits in others and start building relationships with them. Join a CrossFit Gym. Hire a coach or counselor. No relationship is too small.

But wait, there’s more.

I learned this in business when I would make new hires. Choosing your circle of staff is choosing your culture. Culture isn’t taught, it’s caught. So if you hired a bunch of experience lazy people, you would have a workplace that felt stuck up and ineffective. If You wanted an A-Player team at work, you’re going to need A-players, and nothing rewards an A-player and shows her respect like being surrounded by more A-Players.

I’ve learned that you cannot expect someone to keep giving their all when someone next to them won’t do the same. Your best people’s work ethic and drive for excellence are punished when you hire people who may have more expertise but don’t live up to a standard.

This is true for your life.
Your health.
Your energy.
Your mental attitude.
Your body.
Your spirit.

I’m asking you to build the team of your dreams, to accept that you deserve a circle of people who can lay down suppressing fire, call out when something seems wrong for you, pull you out of a bad mood after a loss, or just take a stack of dishes off your hand when you’re short-staffed at the restaurant.

Wealthy and successful people are fine but don’t forget outstanding humans. I want people around me who will stop and change a tire for a stranger, who’ll stop a shoplifter at the grocery store and offer to pay for the food they took, just to show them people care. I want people who raise their hand when it’s time to show up or shut down. People who catch us ready to give in and say, “No, the plan was this; we’re sticking to the plan.”

If you’re in business, I’m not saying hiring people like this will make your business a success, but it made us move faster

It will do the same for your health.
Your recovery.
Your break up and journey in moving on.
Your grief after a loss.
Your rediscovery of self after getting lost in the doldrums.

We build the team of our dreams when we take responsibility for choosing our circle.

We do it because we know we’ll need help to reach the other side of our growth. But the best surprise is who we take with us, not knowing we were a crucial segment in someone else circle all along.

Stay Classy, San Diego.
I can’t get through one blog post seriously.
-J

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