Many years ago, in middle school, I had a friend who I enjoyed hanging out with, A LOT. He had this persuasive personality that led me to follow along with him more often than my other friends. We always seemed to have fun and lived a little on the wild side (as much as middle schoolers could). During one summer vacation, my family allowed him to come along with us to Florida. The trip began fun with my parents renting jet skis for us. Man, that was so much fun. What kid wouldn’t want to ride the ocean on a jet ski? Afterwards, we were back in our hotel room where we eventually received a knock on the door, one of the jet skis had a hole in it. Looking back, I remember my buddy ramming my jet ski with his and ultimately putting a hole in the hull of the jet ski that my parents ultimately had to pay for. If that wasn’t enough, there was a situation where the fire alarm was pulled by my friend. It was quite the ordeal. While I personally didn’t do anything wrong, I was part of the problem because I was there with him. It was my word against his.
My mom knew my buddy was bad news by now but I, as a middle schooler, couldn’t put it together. We grew up for years together and even played pool competitively together. Looking back on it, it seemed that trouble always found him and often times, I was around. He was ALWAYS in trouble!
Eventually, as I grew older and wiser, our lives began to part ways. Fast forward several years, he got married and while driving home drunk, he wrecked and killed his wife. He spent years in prison for what he had done.
I look back at this period of time in my life where I felt tested. Which way was I going to lead my life. I’m thankful for the amazing guidance of my family to help steer my in the right direction. Not necessarily by what they said (they did tell me he was trouble more times than I can remember) but by my family leading a life of being around people that built us up, not tore us down.
Who you choose to have in your tribe is going to have a tremendous impact on where your life goes. Make sure to fill your tribe with those:
- who love you for you,
- who treat you as family,
- who aren’t afraid to tell you when you are screwing up,
- who hold you accountable,
- who support your most impossible goals,
- who lift you up when you are down,
- who give you a shoulder to lean on,
- who will stand up for you.
When I look back at my middle school friend, he did none of this for me and ultimately, his life took a horrible turn for the worst. He only wanted me around when I followed his direction and would be upset wit me if I didn’t.
I’m glad I chose to remove him from my tribe. More importantly, I’m thankful I learned the value of our tribe.. for better and worse, our tribe is our guide.
Who is in your tribe?
Who are your star players?
And...Are they good for you?