The Company You Keep

[box options]Today’s post is a guest post by Haiku Kwon. Haiku is a traveler, foodie, writer, and wanna-do-everythinger. You can follow her journey of starting all over again on her blog, Life’s a risk… and I’m all in. She would love to make a new friend on Facebook.[/box]

Take a look at your friends. No, really–not just a cursory review, but an in-depth assessment of their character, integrity, passion, and motivation. Do you feel inspired and energized after spending time with them, or do you feel drained and frustrated?

Phil Hilfiker via Compfight

In the past few years, I’ve learned the utmost importance of the phrase, “choose your friends wisely.” Why? Because the company you keep is the platform from which you learn and grow. They are the ones who will help you to power through your creative dry spells, hold you accountable, and give support and encouragement to the most sacred dreams of your heart.

Dreams are Life

And as any artist knows, those dreams are life. They are not vague intangibles, but the very foundation for a reality yet to be realized. In a world that frequently attempts to squash creativity, it becomes that much more essential for us to surround ourselves with those who have a common vision–to build communities that can and will stand–to know that we are not alone. In the words of Vonnegut, “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

How many of us have begun to follow our instincts in pursing what the masses largely deem illogical, unreasonable, foolish, or just plain stupid? When we stand alone, it’s easy to become tired, defeated, and feel as though we’re insane. You begin to question yourself… “Was this really a stupid thing to do?” Again, this is when the company you keep must be of the highest caliber–people who will assuage your fears and doubts, believe in you and your goals, and will help to build and defend your vision.

The company you keep can either inspire, drive you forward, and draw out the very best you have to give, or they can discourage and perpetuate the cycle of apathy and self-doubt.

What company do you keep?


Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Community really does have the power to make or break you. It’s why every leader, every creative need to make sure those he/she surrounds himself with help push him towards his dreams.

    • Haiku Kwon

      Absolutely! The whole ‘lone wolf’ idea sounds romantic and all, but it’s unrealistic. We humans are pack animals- we need each other to really thrive.

  • I believe every word of this. I learned it on a practical level when I rolled into Nashville by myself at the tender age of 21 thinking I was a pretty good musician. After realizing that the guy taking my fast food order was three times the musician I’ll ever be, things became a bit clearer. As I began to play with better and better musicians, the more proficient I became.

    I think the same goes for inspiration, positivity, passion, etc. Surround yourself with inspired to people to become inspired. Surround yourself with passionate people to live a passionate life. And they get to benefit from your reciprocal energy, too.

    • Haiku Kwon

      So true! If you ever find you’re the most proficient at something most of the time, it may be time to find some new company… I’m currently finding myself surrounded by people who are incredibly motivated in areas I may never be into, but their exuberance and commitment drive me to cultivate that level of passionate dedication in the areas I am interested in.

  • Thanks for sharing this, Haiku! Especially timely, as I’m stepping away today from a lucrative but draining day job in favor of a risky calling. My encouraging community of friends and family are the only way it will work!

    • Haiku Kwon

      Christine, this is SO awesome to hear! I just left my lucrative soul-sucking job in June- terrifying, but unbelievably liberating. It is vital to have a community/tribe through this process. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to follow through if it weren’t for the support of my family and friends who believed in my dreams. Good luck and I would love to hear how things are progressing!