An idea that helped me with a situation today: give everyone you know a position in an imaginary advisory board of your life.
- Your spouse? He or she can be your chief advisor on how to love and live with others.
- Your children? They can be key consultants on understanding motivation and irrational human behavior.
- Your parents? They can be models on how to age gracefully.
- The annoying coworker? He or she can be a prompt to help develop your patience.
And taking a page from Napoleon Hill: if there are advisors you want but don’t have, or people you’d like on your Life Board that you don’t know, draft them or make them up.
- Make Abraham Lincoln your advisor on management.
- Make Winston Churchill or Malcolm X your speech consultant.
- Make Ernest Hemingway or Jocko Willink your advisor on action.
- Make Stephen Hawking or Albert Einstein your advisor on scientific inquiry.
- Pick a Rothschild and make them your advisor on money management.
- Have James Bond or Bill Clinton advise you on body language.
One of my key advisors is training me to review how I react when provoked by people I consider ignorant, stupid, misinformed, or aggressively idiotic; whereas two days ago, he was more of a pain, he is now a key hire in my life (and he’s not even getting paid!).
So my challenge now: when faced with a hard human relations situation, I want to think of the person facing me as an advisor, take a breath, and think about how this person is helping me. It’s already changing everything for the better.