A couple of years back, I told Jim Ayson, my late boss, that one of my personal laws is to surround myself with people that I want to be like. I was pertaining to him.
Before I met Jim for the first time, I had googled him extensively. I found, among many others, that he was labeled one of “The Internet’s 10 Most Influential Filipinos” by The Web Philippines back in 1999.
This was his vision for the Internet at that time:
He hopes for the Internet to be available not only among the upper classes, but to the masses as well. However, “I’m not part of an ISP, so I can’t do anything about bringing down cost. But I’m interested in sharing my talents with NGOs and the government sector to see how we can develop web sites that can effect real change and development, and thus indirectly make the Internet beneficial and relevant to more people,” Ayson added.
“For 1999 I am excited about developing two business-to-consumer e-commerce projects under the aegis of PhilMusic and WebMarket. These include PhilMusic Direct, which is a CD retail operation aimed for the overseas market – selling OPM CDs abroad – and CD Manila, which is for the Philippine market, taking orders for specialty imports and used CDs.”
17 years ago, way before he worked for a telco, he was already thinking about Internet access for all and e-commerce. He was also the Founder of Philmusic, a musician, writer, photographer – an all-around artist.
So yeah, I decided that I wanted to work for this guy. After our meeting (he was cooler than I expected), I stalked him again, pulled his profile photo from a social network, and pinned it on my vision board. Yes, I did that.
Fast forward to today, I still imitate many of his ways, in the hopes that “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”. Well he was a pretty grand tree. And I hope, that in my lifetime, I can be as grand.
I’m grateful to have chanced upon a such a great person – not everyone is as lucky. But the people we surround ourselves with is an ongoing choice. And so this is my wish for 2016:
This year, I hope you surround yourself with people you want to be like.
Maybe find a Jedi Master, or Harvey Specter, or Jim. It will do you good for the soul to have someone to look up to, who will listen when you disagree, or throw you into the wild to fight with the wolves when you’re ready.
In your everyday life, choose the friends, and family, and colleagues you spend time with. Be around people who are kind, who treat others with respect, and give you enough space to grow.
You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. So set that bar high.
Happy New Year.
Wishes from the past years: