What I know for sure is that getting through life takes a village. Humans weren’t meant to go it alone. The road is long and the tests are hard. We need others and others need us.
In celebration of this year’s Fast 15, I thought I would share the 15 people I keep on speed dial. Not so much individuals but rather perspectives that I rely on as I navigate the journey that is called life.
The Artist: Art is passion. So much passion. And commitment. The Artist is not just a creative force, but a voice that reminds you to honor what stirs your soul. We can’t truly be at our best without passion.
The Outlier: This is the nonconformist or the misunderstood. If all I ever do is walk to the beat of my own drum, how will I ever know what the other drums sound like? I’m only an insider to me.
The Truth-Teller: There is the hype, and then there is the truth. The truth may very well hurt, but at least the truth doesn’t lie. And the truth shared with grace and elegance will hold you accountable to your highest self.
The Dreamer: The anthem of The Dreamer is to just imagine. What if …? Why not …? How come …? When you find yourself getting weary, The Dreamer will remind you of your greatness — and how much your efforts matter. Just imagine that.
The Genius: Book smarts, street smarts, tech-savvy or the polymath. When you can’t see the forest for the trees, The Genius can. And that’s the genius of The Genius.
The Storyteller: The writer has words, the musician has lyrics and the photographer has pictures. Storytelling is said to be the center of the human experience. The Storyteller will help you see the arc of your own story.
The Connector: The universe operates on the power of human connection. If it is as simple as six degrees of separation, The Connector will know people that can help you in your journey.
The Philanthropist: The universe also operates on the power of giving — the giving of money, time, love, forgiveness, grace. Your heart expands when you see the world through this lens.
The Optimist: Hopeful, enthusiastic, joyful. There is no downside to the upside. Walk (maybe run) toward the person who shines like the sun.
The Sage: With age comes wisdom and a sense of calm in a world that is constantly in flux. Having a perspective on perspective is the best perspective of all.
The Therapist: Credentialed or not, having an empathic, nonjudgmental perspective matters more than ever in a society that is continuously telling you that you don’t measure up. The Therapist will unequivocally remind you that you are good enough.
The Well-Traveled: They go out there. They’ve changed time zones, comfort zones and continents. They’ve wandered and pondered. And then written about in journals. The Well-Traveled offer wisdom from countless cultures and places.
The Bridge Builder: Negotiating, making peace, building consensus with others, holding hands. Bringing people together is an extraordinary gift.
The Devil’s Advocate: We tend to argue like we’re right, but we should listen like we might be wrong. Debate requires you to see the world from another point of view.
The Seeker: The eternal quest to know more — to understand more — to be forever curious. This is the original philosopher. And the philosopher will help you ask the right questions.
Yes, the road is long and the tests are hard. And what I know for sure is that it takes a village.
Congratulations to the newest inductees into the Fast 15. I wish you much continued success.
Ancora Imparo … (Still, I am learning).
Editor’s note: Stacey Mason is the founder of The Improv Lab, a professional development business in Bentonville. More information is available at TheImprovLab.com or by calling 479-877-0131. The opinions expressed are those of the author.