In seventh grade, I was subjected to a “Map & Globe Skills” curriculum in Mr. Thomason’s science class. We were required to pair off, and of course I picked my number one road dog, Mindy. Now, anybody who knows anything about me knows I love me some Mindy for real. Mindy is my girl, and she will be my girl until I take my last breath. But picking Mindy as my Map & Globe Skills partner was a mistake with terrible, ever-lasting consequences. You see, Mindy was more interested in the Sharpie marker that came with the map and globe than she was in the learning of said Map & Globe Skills. So instead of learning basic skills like how to read a map or find a country on a globe, I spent my time during the Map & Globe Skills session watching Mindy draw a handlebar mustache on her face. Did I get a good laugh out of it? You bet. Did Mindy end up with a handsome mustache that lasted for a few days? She sure did. But to this day, I can’t read a map to save my life. And I think we know who is to blame for that.
I heard a story today of a potential business pairing that made me want to cringe. Actually, I didn’t want to cringe. I wanted to cry or throw up a little or run after the one half of the pairing I respect and scream, “NOOOOOOOOO!” at the top of my lungs. I quickly realized that last scenario involved running, so I opted out. But I thought about it, and that counts for something. Right?
If our level of happiness is directly linked to the five people we spend the most time in life as research indicates, it occurs to me that we must always choose well. Flaky friends? No time for it. Boss who doesn’t respect you? Moving on. Problematic employees? Help them find the way…out the door. You see, life is too short for the riff-raff. They will only distract you from what you need to do, stop you from being the best you. So I say, take your time, assess the situation, and pick the right dance partner – for every dance – right from the start. If you find yourself with a dancer who has two proverbial left feet, get yourself a new partner right quick. It really is that simple.
Because let’s be honest, if you don’t pick the right dance partner you might end up like me: unable to read a map. And that is no way to live.