If you have ever seen the movie Hall Pass, you will remember the scene where Rick and Fred are at the club with Coakley trying to pick up women. Fred points out the hot blonde standing in the corner and Coakley dismisses her as “an illusion”. The girl was an 8 surrounding herself with 6’s to make herself look like a 10.
There is that temptation in life to surround yourself with people who make you look good. I remember a guy from college who was a master at this. I’ll give him lots of credit; he was a cool, charismatic guy. But he spent all his time hanging out with the social class a step or two below where it seemed he should be. I know this because I was part of that group.
He was without a doubt, the leader of the pack. And, honestly, being a bit of a social outcast, I was a bit star struck to be hanging out with him. I learned a lot from him, which was nice, but what did he learn from me?
Nothing. He got to feel like the alpha male of the group, so I guess there’s that. But being with us did not improve his life at all. There was no challenge to being in charge of a group of misfits. He should have been hanging out with the other over achievers.
The last I heard, he was living a fairly normal life. There is nothing wrong with that, but for a guy with so much natural potential, I have to wonder if he didn’t cheat himself by always choosing to be a big fish in a little pond.
I bring this up because I just spend a day on a canoe trip with three really awesome guys. We floated the river, drank beer, smoked cigars, and caught fish that were too small to brag about. We also had a lot of wonderful conversation.
We know each other lives and we care deeply about how things are going in each others worlds. I can call these guys when I have a problem. They are there to challenge me if I’m going the wrong direction. These three men bring value to my life. They each have wisdom, talents, and insights that I lack and I learn from them.
Is it intimidating to spend your time with people who are better than you? It can be, if you let it. But the point of having a big dick is realizing you bring something to the table as well. You also have to accept that someone somewhere has a bigger dick than you, and that’s okay. These guys are a valuable part of my life and they see me the same way. We are smart enough to know that none of us have it all figured out, but we are strong enough and secure enough to not be jealous of each others success.
I want people in my life that will improve me. If you had to choose between being the big dick in a room full of shorties, or being just one of the guys in a peer group of high achievers, which would you prefer?
I’ll take the high achievers any day.