Your People Picker Can Be Your Secret Weapon or Your Greatest Weakness

Nov 11, 2022

What is the number one most important factor that determines how well you do in life?

Your relationships. Who you choose to be invested in, and who will invest in you. That does more to determine where you end up in every area of life than any other factor.

There is a construct that I like to use here and it starts with a question.

Are you going to be a raft or a boat?

Qualities of a raft:

Going where the current takes you
Whoever you meet, you start a relationship with
Getting externally moved through life
You might get lucky, you might not


You have a steering wheel, GPS, and a way to control your speed
You are driving
The way you make choices with you get close with is intentional

Ask yourself: in my life, where do I want to go?

Once you figure out where you want to end up, that will tell you who you want to travel there with. Here are some common things that people want for themselves. They want:

  • To be happy
  • To find meaning
  • To be healthy
  • To have fun
  • To grow in their faith
  • To be curious and learn about things
  • To have a good career

Look at each of the destinations that you would choose for yourself, and then decide who should be there with you. Who will be a great travel companion? Ideally, these are people who push you forward while you are also pushing them forward. You fuel each other’s growth, and grow each other’s ability to reach your goals.

What do these people that you are going to pick look like? There are some useful questions to ask in order to identify them:

  • Is this person successful/happy/good in the area that I want to be?
  • Is this person continuing to move forward and growing?
  • Is this person supportive? This can be confused with ‘warm and fuzzy,’ but that’s not it. These people should help you, and also challenge you in a way that contributes to your growth.
  • Does this person bring out the best in me?
  • Does this person like being in relationships?
  • Is this person honest with me?

If the answers to the questions are what they ought to be, then they will make a great travel companion. If not, you may need to look elsewhere. This does not mean you need to cut out your “fun” or “dysfunctional” friends. They are just in a different category in your life.