The closest people in your life should be the people you are growing together with. As you grow together, you will go together on the mission to shape culture, influence society, and create wealth. An African proverb says that “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others”. A future that is aspirational and that people can be genuinely excited about, would require a lot of selfless leaders. You cannot succeed in a vacuum. There is no real success in isolation. You will need to grow up with your peers. And in the passing of time, you can take the mountains together.
There is a place for running after people two to three decades ahead of you. But, you will discover that you need peers and colleagues that you can grow with. You should live with a mindset that in the future, the most influential people in your world will be the people you grew up with. An old adage says, “three children cannot remain relevant to each other over twenty years”. This is not true. Three people can remain friends, and be useful to each other for over fifty years. They just need to grow together, and commit to the same mission.
The key idea is to take a long-term view towards the relationships in your life. If you think about relationships lasting decades, you will handle the current moment differently. This works for co-workers, partners, suppliers, customers, friends, etc. Your co-worker today can start their own company in five years time. And working together, you can make it a billion-dollar company. Your childhood friend can become an elected public officer in another twenty-four years time. They will need trusted and competent hands to govern with. Thinking in decades will rid you of bad behavior. Take a long-term view, and commit to growth.