Iron Sharpens Iron - Intentionally Grow Ourselves and Those Around Us

Seneca - Iron Sharpens Iron - Associate with people who are likely to improve you.

Growing Ourselves and Those Around Us

“Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The Process is a mutual one. People learn as they teach.” -Seneca the Younger

This post is focused on the above quote by the Stoic Philosopher Seneca. This is a simple reminder to be conscious of the effects we have on others and their influence on us.

The primary objective of The Manager’s Journal is making our community more Intentional in their lives. Too many people allow days and years to slip away never realizing the wasted opportunities to improve themselves and those around them.

Take Away #1 - Yourself - Iron Sharpens Iron 

First and foremost we must be vigilant about being individuals of character ourselves. The simplest way to illustrate this is through the old phrase Iron Sharpens Iron.

  1. Meaning: Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” There is mutual benefit in rubbing two iron blades together. The edges become sharper, making them more efficient in their task. If a knife is blunt, it is still a knife but will be less effective and useful in its service.
  2. Application: Every day and every interaction affects us and those around us. We cannot typically control the actions or motives of others, but we can control ourselves. Be vigilant and regulalry ask yourself:
      • Are you being Iron?
      • Are you a benefit to those around you or a stumbling block?

We must first be iron before we can seek mutually beneficial relationships with others.

Take Away #2 - Others - The Effect of Those You Associate With Most

“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” -Jim Rhon

  1. Meaning: This quote/rule suggests that the five people you spend the most time with shape who you are. It borrows from the law of averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes. We might interact with many people, but the few who are closest to us have the greatest impact on our way of thinking and our decisions.
  2. Application: This leads to the second big take away. As you are conscious of improving yourself and acting in a way that would improve those around you, realize that those you interact with most will have a continuous influence over your demeanor, outlook, and actions. Take this very seriously and be selective about those to which you allow the majority of your time. 

Action steps:

  1. Be more conscious of the company you keep and make the effort to not only improve the quality of individuals in your life but to be a quality individual yourself (iron).
  2. For one week make a point to write Be Iron on the top line of your right side journal page. Be mindful throughout your days toward judging your decisions and actions by this standard.
  3. Write down the names of the five individuals you spend the MOST time with. Often you will find the names on this list are unintentionally by workplace proximity or other exterior circumstances. Make an honest evaluation of these individuals affects on your life and decide if it's healthy or unhealthy. Start consciously reducing the investment of your time around unhealthy individuals. 

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