People Who Will Challenge You

One of the best ways to create and sustain social motivation is to surround yourself with people who will encourage and support and challenge you in your endeavors.

Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool



A longtime friend called me on the phone the other night. Our friendship has its roots in the year that we both extended our college days to stick around and complete a Masters degree in the Writing Seminars.

We talked about how we can find our next roles and trajectories in a way that aligns with our youthful desires to change the world.

What do you do next when your life is no longer compelled by the "Have to's"? When you hear your friends talking about taking a step back, but you feel that there is still a lot that you haven't really started?

When you come late to the game, there's a sense of urgency. You just want to take the field. There's no need to sit and watch for a moment—your team needs you and your life already feels like it has been one long warmup.

What does any of this have to do with peak performance and finding the people who will support, encourage, and challenge you?

When you embark on a new journey, you are going to be tested. You are going to feel like you have one foot in your old world, and another foot in the new one. It is enough to challenge anyone's balance.

Anders Ericsson prescribes surrounding yourself with people who will be there for you. How do we proactively create the community and build the friendships that will sustain and challenge us?

In the spirit of two friends getting together to try to change the world, check out this version of Get Together, by Jesse Colin Young of The Youngbloods. Jesse is playing with his friend Steve Miller of The Steve Miller Band as part of a fund raiser for WhyHunger.org.

Love is but a song to sing
Fear's the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry

It's time to cast off our hesitancies and stride past our fears.


Anders Ericsson, Psychologist and ‘Expert on Experts,’ Dies at 72: His research helped inspire “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book on the keys to excelling.
Interview on Finding Mastery podcast: Anders Ericsson: The Science of Expertise
Harvard Business Review: "The Making of an Expert"
More songs and journeys from Jesse Colin Young of The Youngbloods.

See All Favorite Quotes of the Day
"Peak" by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool


Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Song/Video Pairing

Get Together


Jesse Colin Young with Steve Miller

Start the video at the 18:58 mark

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