Here is a short story for you. A woman was driving a long distance to a conference in a neighboring state with a fellow colleague as the passenger. She was excited to have someone to read directions and keep her focused during the long road trip. She looked forward to having a person she could have great conversation with to keep her mind sharp and offer that extra set of eyes for speed traps or any danger. She was sure she would have a fantastic road trip; so she thought.
Her conversation lasted the first 20 minutes of the 3 hour drive and was more useless gibberish than great conversation. After annoyingly flipping from station to station on the radio, her driving partner relegated to a passenger as she twisted her hips, adjusted her head, closed her eyes and went to sleep. Driving while angry, the woman became bitter over her wasted anticipation of the trip and her passenger. As she neared her destination she woke the passenger to help read the directions to the venue. Remaining true to form, her passenger lacked the competence to assist. Mispronounced names and skipped turns started a second journey from a point called lost to finally their final destination. They arrived 45 late. The woman was frustrated, disappointed and feeling completely alone.
My point? As you go through life, business, and personal relationships it is important to pick a driving partner and not a passenger. The car represents the tools and means you use to get from where you currently are, up your desired road and ultimately to the point of achieving your dreams and fulfilling your purpose. A driving partner will help you in your quest. A spouse will support and encourage you and not belittle you. A business partner will complement and not overpower you. A friend will protect, enlighten and support you and not emotionally drain you.
A partner will give you proper instruction and constructive council on which direction is right for your situation. They will stay alert keeping watch for the traps that you may not see but are waiting in silence to stop your progress. A driving partner will carry some of your load helping you make it to your goal at the life’s appointed time and not cause you to miss your opportunity. To the contrary, a passenger is just along for the ride. They travel at the expense of your energy, time, and perseverance. They contribute nothing yet deplete your resources.
Try this; in separate categories write your career goals, personal goals, and even fitness/health goals. Then list all the people that talk with you regularly, hang out with, who offer you advice, who ask how you are doing, who inquire about your dealings, and others in your various circles. Now identify who are partners in your success and who is just along for the ride. Make adjustments as needed.