4 Lessons I’ve Learned From Strangers

I’ve been living with 34 strangers for the last two months.

O.K. let me explain.

I’ve been in training for a new job for the last couple of months.  During this time I have had the opportunity to met people that I would have otherwise never meet.  People from a variety of different backgrounds, beliefs and socioeconomic situations.  Though there are similarities between each person there isn’t one person here that come from the same area or background.

For instance I have met a body builder, a former professional video gamer, a women that immigrated from Cuba and so many more.  I tell you all this to say that I have learned a lot from this group of strangers that I now call friends.  Out of all they have taught me I wanted to give you the top four below.

1. You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind Too

I’m still amazed by what people are able to accomplish when pushed to their max.  That being said, it would take a lot to motivate me to take my family to a new country not even knowing the national language.  However that’s exactly what someone I met at training did 10 years ago.  She was living in Cuba and wanted a better life for her children.  So she packed up her kids, one 6 and the other 7 months old, and came to America not knowing the native language or what to expect.  She became a citizen and began to learn English.  Her story is one of strength and perseverance in the  face of great adversity.  If we could bottle that kind of courage I can only imagine what kind of things we could accomplish.

2. Just Because You’ve Failed Before Doesn’t Mean You’ve Failed Forever

There are a couple people that I have met in my training that have been through the training before. They have already graduated past training courses but for one reason or another had to step down into a lower position, but are now ready to step back up into a position of leadership.  Their stories are great examples that just because you have failed before doesn’t mean that you failed for good.  If we have failed and refuse to try again it is no ones fault but our own.  Their stories have shown me that there are times were we must fail in order to learn and come back better than before.

3. People Are Rarely What They Appear To Be On The Surface

When you meet a large group of people all at once its extremely difficult to get a true assessment on everyone.  Even if you have a talent for reading people its a formidable challenge.  You are bound to be wrong about a few people no matter how good of a judge of character you are.  Inevitably there will be people that you thought would be good people but turn out to be scumbags and others that you thought were scumbags that turn out to be some of the friendliest people you have ever met.  We must fight our urge to judge people by our first impressions of them and fight to dig deeper to bring out who they really are.

4. Everyone Strives For Something Greater  

Though the people I am training with are overwhelmingly in their 20’s-30’s the are still people that fill in the other age groups (40’s – 60’s).  What I have witnessed in all of these strangers is their drive for something greater.  It’s seems to be embedded into the human condition to strive for more.  To always desire something greater for our families and friends.  This is seen most clearly in the pursuit of better jobs that provide more security and money.  It crosses all bounders, all races and language barriers.  The pursuit of a better life is founded in the truth that this world is not quite what it should be, that there is more.  The sad truth however is that we seek out things that can not satisfy us.

There are many more things that my new founds friends have taught me but for now I will leave you with these four that are at the forefront of my mind.  The amazing thing about living life is that these lessons never stop coming and we never stop learning.  We continually meet new people that can teach us a great deal more about ourselves as well as the world.

What are some lessons that the strangers in your life have taught you?