In this post, you’ll find a few ideas on how to attract and keep great people.
We live in a time in which the subject of self-esteem has reached a high point in comparison to most of the remaining human history. We live in a time in which more than just believing that he/she can do anything, the average person is also likely to feel as if the world has to go the way. We live in a time of “me me me”. Meaning that most of us believe they are special in such a way that we feel entitled to the best partner the world can give, forgetting we too have to do our part by doing our best to be the best son/daughter, partner or friend to the people we consider to be more than acquaintances.
The reason why this way of thinking is just incorrect is that in a world in which everyone sees itself as deserving of better, no one really gets that ‘’better” simply because everyone already thinks they are better even when they’re not.
The question of how to attract and keep great people is one of humbleness. First being that you’re aware that as awesome as you might think you are, you’ll still have to do some work to attract great people. The second being that even when you manage to incorporate a great person into your life, you’re also aware that they don’t owe you anything. Everyone is free to do what they want, even unsubscribing to your social circle.
How to keep great people
One good question is why would you care about great people in particular? Why not just people in general? Aren’t we all humans? Aren’t we all special for having been born with the capacities we have when compared to other living beings? The answer to that is that although we can all do more than any other species we know of, this ability can be used for both good and harm. As individualistic and needless of people you might think you are, the truth is that the people we spend most of our time with can have a great deal of impact in our day to day moods and even as far as the way we define the level of quality and/or wellbeing our life has. This is why just like with food, the quality of people you expose yourself to can have an impact on your happiness.
How to attract great people
The question of attracting great people regardless of the kind of relationship you’re looking for is one that has plagued the human mind for a long time. It looks difficult but it’s not. I figured over time that the problem is not the lack of a clear solution/answer, but the application/implementation of whatever the solution might be. Like in business your success in a relationship is all about value. In a way, you need to deserve the kind of people you want to be around. In other words, the simplest way to have awesome people around you is to be awesome yourself.
This is one point of view most people are likely to reject at first glance since most people are all for the idea that people should love them as they are. The first problem with this is that it asks of humans the level of understanding and unconditional acceptance that only either Gods or clueless people can have. The ask for unconditional acceptance is at its root one of laziness. The reason for that is that the acceptance we ask is never for our virtues but for our flaws. Simply because it’s easier to remain flawed and not being judged for it than it is to put ourselves through the journey of bit by bit emptying the bottomless bag of flaws we all are. And most of us still wonder why finding the one is so difficult.
Just like losing weight the math is simple but the doing is hard. I guess that’s why we keep looking for shortcuts, when deep within we all know what we have to do to get what we want in life. Attracting great people like anything else in life requires more than just wishing. What we want is to have our cake and eat it too. What we want is to have the best life has to offer for free.
As Charlie Munger once said: “To get what you want you to have to deserve what you want”. The point is that the simplest and not necessarily easiest way to attract great people to your circle is to become great. Be that as a friend, and employee or a romantic partner. The reason for that is that is simply that just as you look for people with good traits and try to stay away from people with bad traits, so does everybody else. To ask to be adored even when your flaws are many which often are is to ask for special treatment from the world in a universe in which most think they are special.
How to keep great people
Attracting great people is just half the battle. Keeping them is just as and maybe even more important. The truth is that through thousands of years of experience and collective wisdom, humans have become pretty good at implying the presence of a value in themselves even when the only true content they have is the words they use to hint on how great they are. Humans have become so good at this that often distinguishing the true from the pretenders can sometimes be as challenging as distinguishing the parent rivers of two droplets of water after they have been merged into one. So now, as long as you can fake well enough you can be as believable as that who is truly good.
The problem with faking is that it’s like a building made of sand located right at the edge of a stormy beach. You live in a perpetual attempt to keep the story up. To keep it alive, and just as you begin to relax people begin to catch up. Just like the fragile building the foundations of your story are constantly tested, up to the point in which you decide to either tear the whole building down and take the hit, or just like most of us do, to add even more sand until we get to yet another fork in the road.
What I mean to say is that any mediocre actor who’s not really an actor can lead a crowd to fall in love with him/her for a moment. The question is what happens after you get what you want? What happens when your promises are called upon and you have nothing to show for them?
Keeping a great friend/spouse is hard work. The biggest problem we face in relationships is that of taking what we have for granted. In the beginning, we make the effort to impress. We make the effort to be useful, and to soothe pain when pain soothing is required. In other words, we spent most of our time outside of ourselves. Outside our heads. Now we spend most of our time within. We ask for more while giving less and less. Now it’s even worse since we not only don’t give anything, but we also ask to take, because the people close to us have signed an unspoken agreement which states that they should keep being their best selves, even as we become worse and worse versions of our former selves. The funny thing is that the same silent agreement is signed twice and each of the parties is only aware of the one that benefits them.
The point is simple and it goes as follows: whatever you did when you were in the honeymoon phase of your relationship should keep being done regardless of how long it has been. I think this is in part the reason why many relationships whether romantic or not are likely to take a hit when that new person comes and steals your partner/friend from you. They are in essence doing the same things you used to do in the past, and now you’re not. We treat relationships like a machine that once setup requires minimal attention. We should instead look at it like if it was a plant. A plant that as cliché as it might sound needs to be frequently irrigated. This is especially true if you’re dealing with people you consider to be great. The reason for that is that you’re probably not the only one making the observation. Which means that more people will likely steal your best friend from you and just like anxious buyers lusting for a limited stock product, they will be willing to go the extra mile just to get what you have. I guess this is where most people default to the idea that if you lose the best friend the best friend never deserved you in the first place, but that would be a self-centered view of the world. Why should we be able to keep our best relationships by giving our minimal effort into taking care of them? Why should our loved ones not have our best selves and the best we can offer? Isn’t that what we expect from them? To deny the first question is to also deny yourself from the privilege of wishing for and having a great friend/lover. And no one wants that.
The point in this post is that one should raise its game in the game of relationships. We live in a time in which being what just what we are is not good enough anymore. Simply because there is always someone around the corner ready to go the extra mile for your customers, and any other opportunity you might be able to hold onto now. At first glance, this might sound like a terrible way to live one’s life but that would be to forget that on the other side of this coin lies growth. When you force yourself to be more than you currently are you can’t help but grow. When that happens something just as interesting begins to happen, and that is that the people around us also start to feel the pressure to raise their game. It’s true that some of the time they won’t but this I guess is the perfect time for you to take the role of the one who is with people who don’t deserve him/her. Now you have more than a reason to feel that way because you bring more to the table than they do., and the next worse thing to being the person who brings nothing to the table, is to be the person who keeps giving to those who are only takers.
This is perhaps the biggest take away from this post. To be better not only professionally but in your relationships. To be so much better than most people are that your loved ones feel lucky to have you. To be so important that they genuinely miss you when you’re gone, and while alive they dread that day and wish they are the first to go because the hole you’d leave would be so deep. It’s not easy to live this way. But then what’s the point of easy? Easy attracts average and both give birth to an unsatisfied life. A life in which to cope we tell ourselves tales. Tales that no idiot would believe at first, but that over time become so deep-rooted that we begin to live by them. We become the delusional salesman who believes wholeheartedly in the greatness of his inferior product. The only difference is that now, we are an inferior product.
The point of this post is that in order to have the relationships you want and by relationships I mean pretty much everything in life, the only way to truly earn them is by being a better version of yourself across time. I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times over, but as Jim Rohn once said: there are no new truths. This is the truth that keeps teaching and giving over and over again. Because at the end of the day the frustrations you might have today can be directly or indirectly linked to your own inadequacies. To your own shortcomings whether you’d like to admit it or not and the good thing is that most of your weaknesses can be improved and turned into as cliché as it might sound: strengths. I know there are things for which you have little to no control over, but the truth is that for those, chances are that most if not all are things you can live with. The problem is that as humans we always seek for that which we do not or can’t have, even when we only seek for them for no other reason than that we don’t or can’t have them. It’s the old tale of the forbidden relationship in which the “forbiddeness” of it is imposed by a group of people or society at large. The residents of the bubble make it and feel as if it’s more than what it is. More than just a bubble whose raw materials are nothing more than a mix of rebellion fuelled by attention. I’m not saying that there are no stories of true and forbidden love. That’s not the point. The point is that sometimes we don’t really want what we believe we really want. Sometimes it’s all fluff. What really matters is at large in our control, but the sadistic joke that comes following is that just because we can control it doesn’t mean the controls will always do what we want. Life is in essence like a TV that works perfectly but whose buttons are broken. We can always get to the right channel so as long as we try hard enough, but the journey to get there is more often than not painful. Most decide to settle for what they get after a few failed attempts. But for those of us who stay on task, what awaits them is almost always a mind-blowing evening.
So, to end this the final point is that in order to have the kind of relationships you dream of the hardest but surest way to go about it is by looking inward, fixing what’s broken and bringing forth your best, which is exactly what we expect from the people around us.
It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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