There’s a line of thinking that purports that we are the average of the 5 to 10 people we spend the most time with. Our peer group can play a big role in influencing what we do, and to some degree perhaps even our success. They can subtly bring us up a bit, or push us down somewhat, in different aspects of life.
They can also be a resource for us at certain times. Of course it goes both ways, and I’m sure most of us would gladly be there to help out people with whom we are close. When we need help, they can be there for us.
Now, some folks don’t believe in asking for help – in particular, advice – thinking that it’s best to be purely independent while avoiding showing any weakness. I think that’s nonsense! We can learn from others, especially our peer group that knows us well. If they’re talented in certain areas, it can be even better to ask for suggestions at times.
That’s why I think it’s important to have a brain trust (or mastermind group) as a resource to help you when really needed in certain situations. Not necessarily regularly, but when even just one or two times a year when you want to get a few ideas on something, it can be good to ask a core group of people who know you and are knowledgeable about the topic of interest.
I recently had somewhat of a conundrum in terms of a certain professional situation that came up, and I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to handle it. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, actually, but wasn’t sure that it was the best approach. So, I called 3 people I knew – who I would call part of my own “career brain trust” – and got their opinions on what would be the best way to handle things.
The result? Well, I think I ended up with some good suggestions and opinions. I found the advice helpful, and once again thought it was good to bounce a few things off people whose opinions I value. This concept could be useful to people in different contexts, be it career, personal finance, relationships, health, or just about anything.
It’s not good to live on an island, figuratively speaking, and have excessive pride or ego that makes us really believe that we know better than anybody else. We don’t, not all the time anyway!
My Questions for You
Do you have a brain trust, for any aspect of your life? If so, how has it come into play?
Do you believe in getting opinions from those you trust and have confidence in, or do you prefer to go it alone?