You Are The Average of Your Relationships

17t0stkd96512jpgI can remember exactly when I started asking myself the hard questions. You know, the ones that are most important in life like: What is happiness?  What is my passion?  What am I going to contribute to the world with the life I live? How can be a better person? And so on…

I was a sophomore in college in a fraternity with 50 plus brothers, and had everything you could imagine – I was living the dream.  But I remember this feeling of loneliness and uncertainty that I just could not shake.  I later realized it was because I hadn’t yet discovered who I was.  I hadn’t found my passion or embraced the ideals, values, and lifestyle of leadership that I now try to live.

That semester I started working in the Dean of Students office and involved myself in several leadership programs and positions.  It was during that time that I learned about leadership – I mean true leadership – not the definition I had been using.  Before, I considered leadership as role with a title; but after lots of self-evaluation I realized leadership is a lifestyle one lives when they are passionate, hardworking, genuine, and willing to empower others to reach their full potential.  The Texas Student Leadership Forum was one of the places where I was inspired to better myself.

Leadership is about having the courage to understand your passions, strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes question your purpose in life.

A good leader also understands they can’t do it all alone.

Throughout the journey of life one will make a few great friends friends, acquire a few mentors, have lots of acquaintances and maybe a couple of enemies. They all matter.

I’ve come to learn that the value of life is based on the relationships we build.  Good leaders build a community and know how to use their unique talents to strengthen each other. Genuine friends challenge each other’s perspectives, work together and hold each other accountable.

A great friend of mine says you are the average of your five best friends. I believe this must be true; and I’m convinced that you must first know yourself before you can find those who fit best into your life.

I believe the key theme that ties all of the Tenets of the Forum together is the theme of relationships. I’m inspired when I surround myself with like-minded and passionate people and I’m glad the Texas Student Leadership Forum collects those kinds of folks.


1377352_10200724310980109_2018670524_nThis post was written by Nathan McDaniel: Texas State alum, past Forum participant and current Forum Facilitator.

Leading up to the 2014 Texas Student Leadership Forum, we plan to post one blog per week centered around the four tenets of the Forum. We invite anyone to contribute to the discussion – please email if you’re interested in writing.