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I had tea with a lovely new friend a few weeks ago. We talked about what it takes to live a full life, what holds us back, and how to get out of our own way so we can become the person we want to be.

He told me he realized years ago that he was his own worst enemy, his own worst critic, and his own biggest obstacle to achieving his dreams. He told me a story about how he has intentionally assembled a ‘delta force’ around himself….. colleagues, mentors, lovers and friends with whom he has explicitly developed support relationships to help him be the best version of himself. He called them his personal Board of Directors.

On predefined and agreed upon timetables, he touches base with these people and reflects upon how he’s doing across various domains of his life – how he’s engaging in his own self-care and self-renewal, how he’s doing as a husband, how he’s doing as a father and family member, how he’s contributing and giving back to the world at large, and the current projects he’s working on to cultivate these areas.

I found this idea of a peer mentorship team to be super exciting. (and it makes me wonder how many high-functioning people already have something like this in place.) Though I have caring relationships like these, I never thought to treat them as a chosen assembly of people that would become an infrastructure for my health and well-being. I’ve been evaluating my own weaknesses the last few weeks with honesty and vulnerability, and deciding who I will ask to help support me on life’s path.

Below (and in image above) is a poem/call to action he dictated during our chat, which I jotted down for future inspiration. Enjoy!

I am my own worst enemy.
I cannot protect myself from myself.
Unless I seek help, I will self-destruct.
I am a beautiful person,
I have the right to be happy,
And I must not take that right away from myself.
I need to give myself permission
To live a full life –
To soar,
To love unrestrictedly,
And to achieve as much as I dare.
I will find a support team whose mission is
To protect me from me.
Together, we’ll be able to unleash my soul.