‘Tis the Season . . . folks feel the rush of the holiday season; it’s the time of giving and receiving gifts.
I have received sage advice throughout my life from incredible women. It’s a difficult task to classify them; they don’t necessarily fit exclusively to one group.
Their gifts of wise words continue to influence and guide me.
Three Wise Groups of Women:
Our first contacts and relationships were built within this group. The women in this circle provided us with guidance and safety, helped to develop our sense of self, ignited and nurtured our talents, picked us up when we fell.
To think this group only includes older-than-you blood-relatives would be doing a great disservice to the ones who joined our families later, maybe even our own children, nieces and cousins. These later in life and younger joiners continue to provide fresh new perspectives; they also call us into their network, to be some of their Wise Women.
Girlfriends are literally the best. All along our life they are our cheerleaders, voices of reason, and support system. The best of them never feel absent when our lives change, we meet up, chat, and don’t miss a beat. Girlfriends know who we truly are; we don’t need to explain ourselves. They also only want the best for us; they are proud and happy for us. In turn, we provide them with the same great support.
Mentors & Role Models
There is no formula for a mentor or role model… we have benefitted from numerous female mentors and role models. Mentors see something within us, something that maybe we can’t see yet and they are wise and generous enough to nurture that something. They share in our successes and find the “teachable moments” in our failures. They share their experiences with us for our benefit – they are priceless. Role Models can literally be anyone you can admire. Our role models are often times our mentors, friends, and family. I, personally also admire world-renowned women, they inspire me (Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Sophia Amoruso, Malala Yousafzai, Marissa Mayer, etc…)
Now for some of the advice they have gifted…
LIFT OTHERS UP WITH YOU; DON’T PUSH THEM DOWN
This resonates with me; I have experienced both sides of this, lifting others up and being lifted up by others and being pushed down and pushing others down. Lifting others up with you is such a powerfully positive experience. It is like “pay it forward.” When compliments come your way for your work for example, there is more electricity in thanking the compliment-giver and mentioning the others who contributed to your work, and complimenting them too. Because, let’s be honest with ourselves, rarely do we get anywhere alone, it is a collective task and those folks should be applauded too.
“WE” IS ALWAYS STRONGER THAN “ME”
I distinctly remember a mentor talking about “we” – the power of a team, of a place, it’s not necessary and sometimes harmful to think of only yourself. This isn’t to say your individual contributions are lost, in fact, quite the opposite.
See the examples below:
Sample One: You: “Look at what I did.” Response: “I see.”
Sample Two: Ron:“Look at what we accomplished.” “Harry we couldn’t have completed it without you XYZ.” Harry: “Thanks, but I have to say, Hermione, you were awesome when you suggested XYZ.” Hermione: “Happy to be part of it, hey Ron, we really depended on you for XYZ.”
The conversation about “We” will always be richer and more dynamic than the flat conversation you’ll have about “Me.”
Notice how these two bits of advice go so nicely together?
DON’T CRY FOR THINGS THAT CAN’T CRY FOR YOU
The simplicity and directness of this advise is exquisite. If something cannot cry for you, don’t cry for it. Meaning: Material things are never worth crying about.
So, if for example, you back into a car on your way to work because you were too far out in an intersection and absent-mindedly you don’t look in your rearview mirror to see said car (and totally bust up your bumper). Naturally, this makes you late for work and you call in crying… as if it was the end of the world or someone died. And someone says, “Don’t cry for things that can’t cry for you,” take the advice.
REGARDLESS OF TITLE, SOCIAL POSITION, OR POWER, TREAT EVERYONE WITH AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF RESPECT
One extends to race, gender, creed, or identity… bottom line, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what you do. I will treat you will the same level of respect as anyone else.
I have one expectation: you do the same.
BE YOU, YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE QUALIFIED
I gave up on trying to be cool a long time ago, I do me – I like to think I do a pretty damn good job of doing me. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and you shouldn’t either. Grow? Yes. Live and Learn? Of course. Evolve? I hope so. Try not being who you are? Nope.
Do you have any pieces of advise you have received from the wise people in your life? I would love to hear from you! Please share in the comments below.
Also, share this post with the Wise Women in your life!
The focus on the Women in this post however doesn’t mean I don’t cherish the Men in my life, of course I do another blog post, for that topic is in the works.