An Average of My 5

I love and strongly believe in Jim Rohn's quote, "We're the average of the 5 people we hang out with the most."  I always try to surround myself with people who inspire me --some by choice and some by accident, some are constant and some are ever-changing.  My husband would be an example of someone who was by choice and someone who is constant.  However, there are many others that are simply coincidence and I may have lost touch with since, but at the time, they inspired me and their influence has impacted me throughout my career.

Over the weekend I attended an open-house at the school where I started my teaching career.  The building is scheduled to be torn down in a few weeks.  While there I ran into a former colleague.  Nancy.  She was an amazing inspiration to me.  My first year of teaching I remember sitting in her room before and after school to absorb any advice she could give.  I would watch how she interacted with her students and try to mimic what she did.

I am now a principal.  I want to inspire those who I interact with -- students, families, teachers.  Yet, I am also always looking to get inspired.  I know that the people who I surround myself with must inspire me.  And those 5 people change -- but never leave -- as I evolve.  Although I saw Nancy for the first time in years and she was no longer part of 'my 5', she has forever inspired me.  Which all brings me to my big question -- to be inspirational or to be inspired?

Without the inspiration of Nancy, and the dozens of other people who have positively crossed my path, I wouldn't be able to inspire others.  I've adopted the beliefs of the ever-evolving '5' and have used them to fuel my passion.  So I think I've answered my own question.  To inspire, I must be inspired.  Thank you, Nancy, and everyone else who has helped me to become an average of them.

Amber Dembowski