The one biggest influence on your future

May is a hard month for me. Last week was my mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day is this weekend. I miss her so much. I found myself bawling in the car when I heard the song, How Do I Say Goodbye by Dean Lewis – oy!

I am channeling my mom whose favorite pastime was bragging about her girls and grandkids.  Here is my mommy brag story…

Last fall, my kids participated in the Technology Awareness Program run by Johnson and Johnson, NJ Institute of Technology (NJIT) and their high school. The basic gist was teaching kids how to work on real world problems and J&J got the benefit of innovative minds working on their current company issues.

At the conclusion of the semester long project each team presents their solution to a panel of judges, including executives from Johnson and Johnson, the President of NJIT, and the principal of their high school. Both my kids participated.

My younger son, who hates speaking in public and is very shy, got up on the stage and delivered his portion of the presentation. Though he struggles with disfluency, he had his eyes up, projected into the microphone, and could be heard and understood. I was just so proud! Although you could see the nerves and the discomfort, he conquered it.

My other son is a bit of a mini me, hair at all. He was the only student from college or high school that didn’t stand behind a podium. He worked the stage with no microphone and was way better at public speaking than I ever was at his age. At his age, I was terrified of public speaking, but that’s a whole other newsletter!

At the end of the program, in my mind both my kids won just for completing it. Though I wasn’t surprised when the panel of judges selected my older son’s team to win the entire event. My mother would have been ecstatic! As the kids all took pictures and held their certificates with pride, a quote I had heard came to mind.

 “Show me your friends, and they’ll show you your future.” (CLICK TO TWEET

In a way, that is what I talk about. What it says to me is that relationships matter. Who you surround yourself with and who you connect with will impact you today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life. 

The diversity of people in that room was phenomenal. Maybe they all share an interest in technology. But I think that is a great balance to have some common interests as well as diverse interests.  

When you show me your friends, which is just another word for your network, you can see the influence on your future. Look around at the people who you are connected to and reaffirm, reinforce, reconnect to old friendships, and build new ones because your future matters along with the people in it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Hug your mom extra tight for someone who won’t be able to anymore.