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The Bring Your Own Awesome Policy

“Man, I’ve been on so many dates recently; it’s almost starting to wear me out a little,” I half-complained, half-boasted. “And I think I need to check my bank account—dating is expensive!”

“Tyler, what are you trying to accomplish here?” was D’s only reply. “Are you trying to find a girlfriend? Because you’re doing it wrong.”

“I don’t know, really. I’m just having fun—meeting lots of new people. But now I’m starting to get a little tired. Maybe I am doing it wrong, and I just need to take a break for a while.”

D responded, “You don’t need to take a break, you just need a filter! You keep going out with all these random women, and you have no process in place.”

Now I was listening. My roommate, D, is smart. She always has fun bits of wisdom for me when I need a hand.

“You need to implement a BYOA dating policy—Bring Your Own Awesome— starting now! You do cool stuff. You need someone else who also does cool stuff.”

We both had a pretty good laugh at that, but she was right; I needed to practice a little more curation in my dating habits if I was going to keep at this.

The Bring Your Own Awesome Policy

Over the last few years, my life has changed pretty dramatically. I went from being an overweight and depressed workaholic who hated his job to a healthy and happy marathon runner and mountain climber who works from home.

Presto change-o! (Hardly.)

That was a big transformation, and it took a lot of work to make it, but most of that work wasn’t really done by me. Sure, I had to make the choice to make better decisions about my life—I had to be the one willing to embrace the risk of change—but what really made it all happen was the choice I made about the people  I surrounded myself with.

I had to make the choice to actually look for inspiring people to bring into my life rather than just accept anyone who came along; I had to look for people who “brought their own awesome” to the table.

Author Jim Rohn used to say, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” He’s right!

I can see this in myself. Once I start spending a lot of time with someone, I can watch how my behavior starts to change, little by little, to match theirs. I don’t lose my identity (note to self: never lose identity!), but I can see how I start to pick up little habits of theirs and mirror some of their behavior.

This happens in every relationship; it’s supposed to. Each person influences the other at least a little.

Realizing I’m influenced by the people around me is one of the most important discoveries I’ve made about myself. And implementing a Bring Your Own Awesome Policy has been one of the best things I’ve done for my life.

For the last few years, one of my most important goals has been to be the dumbest of my five closest friends. This is how I become more like what I want to be.

  • Want to be a great writer? Find five friends who are much better at it than you and spend your time with them.
  • Want to be a trapeze artist? Find some circus folks to run with.
  • Want to be the best damn hair stylist this side of the galaxy? Make friends with five cosmetologists that make you look like an amateur.

How to Make Friends with Awesome People

The problem with finding awesome people to spending your time with is, of course, that you have to be pretty awesome yourself! Most awesome people I know have their own Bring Your Own Awesome Policy.

If you don’t measure up, you’re not getting in!

But this is less of a problem than you might think. You don’t have to acquire any new skills or do anything heroic (though it helps…) to become an awesome person. Really, all you need is to build confidence in the person you already are.

Most awesome things are done by people who are confident enough to go for it.

When was the last time you heard a story about something amazing where the person behind it said, “Well, I wasn’t so sure about it, so I didn’t try very hard and, really, I wanted to give up. But look, everything turned out amazing anyway!”

When you give yourself credit for the things you’re good at already, you start to build a confidence that attracts other confident people who do incredible things. You become interesting, and people want to know more.

Very important: Eventually, you actually have to do something amazing. We all know someone who talks a big game but never actually does anything, and we don’t like them. Don’t be “that guy!”

Creating Your Own BYOA Policy

To create your own Bring Your Own Awesome Policy, all you really need to do is think carefully about the types of people you want to have in your life, and then work hard to find those people.

At the same time, you also have to work to remove people who don’t make the cut—easier said than done.

I often find it helpful to get started on something if I have some type of baseline to work from. So, a few characteristics you might consider for your own BYOA Policy:

  • Are they excited about your life (and vice versa)? Even if someone’s awesome in many other ways, they’ll be a drag if they’re not interested in what’s important to you. And the same is true of you to them. Don’t try to make friends with people you’re not interested in just because you think you need them.
  • Do they inspire you to be better? How do you feel when you’re around this person? Do you get fired up and excited to be better yourself? If not, ask yourself if spending time with them is really a good use of your energy.
  • Do they embrace creativity? Do they find unique and interesting ways to solve their own problems, or do they just complain about them and hope you’ll console?
  • Are they internally driven? The most awesome people know their value and they pursue what they want regardless who or what gets in their way. If someone needs you to be happy and productive, it’s a good sign they have more work to do on themselves first.
  • Are they curious about the world? Truly awesome people tend to find wonder in even the smallest things about the world. Look for people who inspire you to learn more about things you wouldn’t have considered before.

Putting it Into Action

When you start to draft a BYOA policy for your own life, don’t be surprised by the results. You might find people who’ve been around forever no longer fit. This is okay. It doesn’t mean they aren’t awesome in their own way; they just aren’t a great fit for you. Let them go so they can fill their lives with people who fit their own definition of awesome.

And you might find yourself attracted to people you would never have considered before. Don’t be afraid of this. Embrace it.

This is your chance to try on a whole new life perspective, don’t waste it!

As for me, I’ve started to apply my own Bring Your Own Awesome Policy to my dating life—if you don’t have your own reasons for loving your life and what you do, then we aren’t going to be a good fit.

And it’s made all the difference.

So, start drafting your own BYOA Policy today. Don’t wait!

And, if you’d like, post your BYOA Policy to your own blog. If you link to this post, our system will catch it and we’ll share it below.

Image by: drgandy