Let temptation lead you powerfully well. Peer persuasion is encouragement to strut that Brazilian bikini bottom for optimal buns tanning or striking your first serious blow to the punching bag in your mixed martial arts training. Also, to try that dive taco stop in the rough part of town, or adding crisp pickles to your burger and dousing your fries with vinegar, while dipping the tips in homemade rémoulade. It might wind you camping the Zambezi River or daring to lock smiling eyes without words for multiple minutes with a handsome stranger in a workshop. Especially as those we admire provide us insight and energy to take on new tasks, add new gifts to our repertoire or try new things is some of the best seduction life has to offer. The mere allure of a successful writer friend telling me he thought the idea of me starting a blog wasn’t a bad one launched this experiment. The fact he’s read some of my stories keeps me going. There’s a potency in the possibility anyone might appreciate my thoughts exposed in this way.
Following suit of those around us has long been debated more often as a ‘peer pressure’ combatant. I never much believed in such pressure. I do respect its existential angst for many. However, even as an inherent introvert, I have wily ways to ignore those things I didn’t like while allowing the glory of others actions to sway me like Tarzan hollering out to Jane on the vines. If I didn’t want to partake in late night slumber party frozen panty antics, I feigned sleeping very successfully, even when people poked me. I idolized my green beret uncle (long before I fully grasped the intricacies of army life and war). He leaked a few stories of jumping from planes or climbing through trees to escape expertly. When he offered to build a “rope course” in the woods next to our home for my sister and me, I devoted much of my adolescence to scampering skillfully.
Guidance ranks beautifully in professional realms too. Mentoring one another is means to a much sweeter end. Our personal talents show up in umpteen shapes and sizes. Adding supah skillz might come easily to some, while savvy to acquire a new power could take hellbent inventiveness with others. I take enormous pride when influencing the life of another to an upbeat slant. Going it alone may leave a certain sense of accomplishment. Yet, every time I’ve worked my fanny off in partnership I beam more brightly. Plainly put, peer persuasion provides built-in cheerleading. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good pom-pom fuss all about themselves. My favorite personal flashes in time are the accolades of reflection when humans I love tell me good things about my effects on them or others.
So many photos of me as a baby, tiny toddler, and onward show me grinning ear to ear splashing in the water. Both my parents were deeply connected to water and were dutifully raising a water baby who took to it like a healthy fish would. We lived on a lakefront property and vacationed by many oceans or seas. Then there are quite a few snaps where even with diapers showing I’m holding a tennis racket. My proud papa still loves tennis likely more than jazz, steak, and sex. You do that math for a 1940’s Chicago born man. Hardly least of all was the long-standing influences of ballet and photography. My treasured godmother and her daughter became and remain two of my best friends. I watched the graceful moves of her youngest child and wanted to be her. I studied everything Baryshnikov and still love to leap, flex, stand on my tippy toes, and glide while landing to a plié. My godmother was born with plentiful gifts of creativity. Her photography was a blueprint for what would become a life passion of my own. Such are a few stunning persuasions upon my life.
Peers may be obvious in our friendships, the workplace, or through pathways to our successes. I sat in the audience of the American Film Institute’s theatre listening to influential entertainment industry leaders. Michael Bay lit me up. I was in my mid-twenties and had thought about producing as a career. I was too shy and too busy to wrestle the crowds around him at the close of his talk. Instead, I spent the next year leaving very nice phone messages with his assistant asking if he’d agree to meet me for a coffee to simply talk. I didn’t want a job or support. I wanted his expertise with undivided attention. One day his assistant confirmed it for me. Michael showed up. We talked and discussed many facets of the business. I’ll never forget that kindness.
I stretch peers to anyone echoing quality back at me. My New York girlfriend sends me an article to read about travel adventures when I feel my world imploding back in the day. From connecting the dots in that absorption, I run across a young man’s Epic Quest of Awesome. Steve Kamb, better known since through his ongoing NerdFitness community, was such an influential review for me at the time, I tracked him down and he agreed to meet me on a layover he had in Los Angeles. Talk about peer persuasive swagger with which I think we both left that encounter! I watch my maverick stylist friend Rebecca Glamour and I always come away on a life high wanting to be more vibrant. I sneak a peek at the supple lips and philosophical eyes of the babe on the dirt ground in Ethiopia during my charity trip, as all my endearing motherly instincts flood into my heart.
Halos aren’t reserved for angels. Persuasions aren’t always exclusive to wisdom. All the same, this calling is aimed to illuminate those legendary life moments which produce an almost iridescent stride. People all around carry abilities, qualifications, understanding, maturity, and the basic succulent seasonings of life to persuade us. Step into a civilized infatuation with your worthy peers. There’s never so much as the potent present in which to shine.
Don’t let me down. Let’s lift one another up!