|Thoughts on... influential people.
||[Aug. 3rd, 2010|12:00 am]
This is a repost. As I have started to separate myself from IMC, I thought it would be appropriate to pay homage to some of the people who have had a profound impact on my last handful of years. Missing from this mix are my closest friends from high school and college, without whom I really could not imagine my life being enjoyable at all.|
It dawned on me a few days ago to think about the people who have been most influential in my life. I think that for some people, this is an easy question to answer, and for others it requires a little more thought.
I should first recognize the people who didn’t initially come to mind, but should have. Without a doubt, my parents come first. The combination—the solid parental unit. My mom influenced some of my favorite personality traits, but I know that I would not have the discipline (and consequently resources and successes) I have today without my dad’s deliberate methods of involvement in my life. The balance of the two—not the individuals—is what really set the foundations for the person writing this right here, right now. And even if they disagreed as people, they stuck together as parents in their actions and decisions in the face of me and my brother. Teamwork is fuckin hard sometimes, but they did it, and I absolutely intend to carry that on. God, my parents rock.
Parents aside, most influential person #1 to this point in my life would definitely be Arash (without whom there would be no IMC). I didn’t seek Arash as a teacher, and he didn’t seek me as a student. I trained at IMC for a good 2 or 3 years before we ever really had a good conversation. We hardly talk, but still communicate via phrases and sentences (and gestures I guess), in some strange manner that has proven successful enough for me to be writing this paragraph at the top of this “influential people” post.
From being at IMC, I’ve learned unmeasureable life lessons from martial arts, from being a humbled student, a loyal friend, a teacher, and a family/community member. I know that I would not have gained these lessons, opportunities, or the intangible experiences to the same degree anywhere else. I’ve learned so much about myself. And with that, I’ve gained insight into how I connect (and often fail to!) with those around me. For everything that I have gained, I have done my best to create an equal exchange for Arash and the academy. Of course, it will never be enough, but I am OKAY with that as long as I keep trying. It is an incredibly humbling (and confusing and invigorating) feeling.
One big thing that I have learned on this journey is that—for ANY friendship, relationship, business deal, or other interaction—our goal is not just to return the value, but to up the ante and to give back even more. No questions – create exchange in abundance. You give to the world, and in the future, the world will give it back to you, and more.
So that is what I have been trying to do – take those lessons (or as Sensei described it today, “life expressing itself” through him) and apply them in my best capacity (with my current and future skills) both at IMC and away from it. It keeps me motivated and accountable to make positive use of my time in school, at home, while travelling, in my relationships. I’m obviously not a pro at it, but my goal is to get there.
I’d say that the second most influential person in my life to this point has been Henning. I know that I’ve known him half a year, and that I am biased by my emotions. But truly, the guy really pushes me to reach for things. To pursue my passions, to aim high, and to be realistic about the steps and terrain along the way. He helps me keep my energy up. Affirms my positive traits, is open enough to (strategically) point out what I can still work on, and is always willing to help me tackle it. If he goes for something he really goes for it. His integrity is incredible. He does his research. Questions everything. Which is scary but such a growing experience.
He is neither afraid to express his thoughts, nor his emotions—which is such a balance to my personality, and has definitely helped me to open up a bit. Even if for some reason, this doesn’t work out, I will be such a better person for having been in this relationship.