"The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Moving to the other side of the planet probably wouldn't change who your trusted advisors were, I know it hasn't for me. They are the people who have been with us, sometimes since kindergarten, who know who we really are. If you find someone like that, even just one, they are worth holding onto.
Yet, somehow we forget to hold onto them. Now that technology has sped up our lives it's tempting for us to be doing something, anything, ever second. It’s easy to forget what's most important to us. We fight so many little fires during the day - filling up our time with urgent things that aren’t that important - that we put off that letter we wanted to write back to our friend, or that conversation we've been meaning to have.
In Stephen Covey's famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he uses a great example. If you have a jar, he says, and two groups of rocks – one group big and one group small – how would you go about filling the jar? If you put the small rocks in first, the big rocks won’t all fit in later. But if you put the big rocks in first, the small rocks will fall all around them and both can fill the jar. The analogy to our lives focuses on priorities – if we put first things first then all of the more urgent things fall into place around the more important things.
I would argue that your advisors, the people who inspire you, encourage you and support you, are big rocks you should always put in your life first. The technology that has sped up our lives has also given us an unique opportunity to contact others in more ways than ever before. Finding the time to Skype together, talk on the phone, meet in person or write letters will pay you back tremendously. You can start today by just making the time for one big rock - one call, one meeting or one letter - and see what a difference it makes.