We are all teachers. We are all influencers that teach every day. Whether it's the man that passes us on the street, teaching him how we are supposed to act in public, or if it's a brother, son, sister or cousin, teaching them the ways of a craft or the family business. Whether we realize it or not, we teach and people learn. Let's be intentional with the way we teach. Let's be intentional about the way we learn.
Continual education benefits not only myself, but the entire collective. As I learn to walk with peace, curiosity, positivity, those traits are taught to others. As I invest into the continual education of my craft, becoming a better photographer, filmmaker, artist, human ... that knowledge can inspire and can help others. So let it shine.
I strongly recommend that you plug into and engage with a community of like minded individuals. It doesn't mean that each person is pursuing the same craft or the same end goal, but the mindset is common among the group. Every great community offers the ability to raise each other up. So within that community we all share, give and take. In order for the community to thrive and not become stagnant, it's important that we all gather information and knowledge OUTSIDE of the ecosystem, which will there in turn funnel in new information, new ideas and new epiphanies to the entire community.
Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company and the father of the assembly line - the technique of mass production. He recognized that if an individual was tasked to build a complete Ford Model T from start to finish, the overall production of vehicles was very limited. It was a tremendous investment of time for one person to complete every single task necessary to build a car. Ford realized however, that if that same person instead focused on one very specific task and had other people focusing on other aspects of the build, then they would exponentially improve the output of vehicles. As a whole, the collective was able to produce many more cars with the same number of people. The same holds true with a community. Together we are stronger than we are as individuals.
It's the duty of the individual to contribute. It is my duty to my family, my community, the universe for me to contribute. So days when I choose not to wake up early and hustle and stretch myself to new heights, not only am I failing personally but I am also holding back everyone else.
We all have that same duty and opportunity. To drink from the knowledge of others, BUT (and most importantly) to pass on that knowledge and teach to others. Giving is the best gift. Teaching is the best way to learn. It's my duty to contribute and be active in my community, whatever community that is, whether it be a razor focused mastermind group, or my family home, or my day job work place environment. It's my duty to share intimately with the group, to learn intimately with the group, then to go out on my own, gather NEW and profound information from outside sources, return home to the headquarters and repeat the process.
It bears repeating that it's extremely important to surround yourself with positive like minded people. Some of these people may be more advance and further along their career path than you and some of these people may be less advanced in their careers, but a common thread of hunger, passion, excitement and positivity should exist.
If your community is one that drains you because of negativity and does not align with your personal beliefs and overall mindset... I recommend to seek out a new group that fills you while also appreciates the knowledge and passion you contribute as well.
Iron sharpens iron. Friend, I appreciate the times you've pushed through and not given up when you may have wanted to. I appreciate the times you woke up early even when you were tired. I appreciate the times you kept going... you are an inspiration.