My wise and gentle friend once had me list three qualities that I aspire to – three qualities that I admire in others.
I thought about it for a long time – I love introspective exercises like this. I thought about my favorite friends, individuals I am most drawn to in a group – how I admire others who are easy-going, who go with the flow of life without becoming too attached to particular outcomes. I thought about a particular high school friend (or two), with the kind of graceful confidence that I crave. Finally, I thought of my wise and gentle friend herself, and other non-anxious, meltdown-free friends of mine, and I found my last word: peaceful.
I handed my friend the index card, on which I’d written my three words: easy-going, confident, and peaceful.
In my life, I do a lot of comparing. No matter how often I tell myself that comparison is the thief of joy, I still find myself looking to others and wishing that I had what they have or that I acted the way they act. (Particularly people who embody those three words above.)
Hearing what my friend said – that the things I most admire in others are things that are budding, blossoming, emerging in me – was incredibly inspiring and energizing to me. It was nearly three years ago that she said those words to me, and in those years, I’ve grown tremendously in my confidence, my peace of mind, and my ability to move through life with flow and ease.
What are the three qualities you most admire in others?