I noticed some behavior from a couple of folks I admire the other day and found myself saying – “Awesome people are awesome in very predictable ways.”
I was reminded of Tolstoy’s fantastic quote
All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
I think Tolstoy’s quote channels a central idea – to be happy and to do good requires you to live life in accordance to certain principles. As I wrote the other day, it is become increasingly apparent to me that the central principle that underlies all these principles is love. Building off Scott Peck’s definition of love as the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual mental/growth, happy families are willing to do the hard work required to love each other. This primarily means prioritizing each other, committing and re-committing to each other and giving each other the necessary amount of attention. This isn’t easy. But, it is the foundation on which happy families are built.
I’ve seen a similar thread from people I consider awesome – they care a whole lot about helping other people. That doesn’t mean they always say yes. Over time, they’ve learnt to say no to most requests as they’re focused either on their own work or saying yes to other requests that will likely benefit more folks. Their judgment is likely not perfect every time. But, it gets better. They get better. And, most importantly, they’re out there every day, hustling, smiling and giving it their best shot.
It is all very predictable. But, it isn’t easy to do. And, that’s what makes them awesome.