Last month I shared with you my recommendation for developing a SUCCESS Mind-set, using the acronym GRACE. Just to reiterate, GRACE means Gratitude, Resourcing yourself through Reading, Affirmations, Community engagement and Empowering others. Next month, I will share my experience on E, but this month, I have chosen to focus on ‘C’ – Community.

Legendary motivational speaker Jim Rohn said “you are the average of the 5 people you spend time with”. This is both true of personal relationships as it is true of communities we find ourselves in. Think about it, if you grow up in a generous community, you will assume generosity to be a way of life and you will most likely also be a generous person. Sadly the reverse is also true, if you grow up in a poverty-stricken community, you will assume this to be the norm and also adapt it as a way of life. Yes there are exceptions to the rule where the community serves as a catalyst for completely bucking the trend but most times, this is largely due to that individual translating getting exposure from an external source.

If we agree that you generally rise to the expectations of your society, it is plausible that we should engage in communities that could elevate our status and help us to become better versions of ourselves. Again I have seen this in action when children are moved from destructive homes to nurturing ones. They buck the trend and grow up to be successful and responsible adults.

I remember considering this in more detail at the beginning of the year. I made the decision to plant myself in communities that served my goals and edge me closer to my dreams. I close my eyes and I see a Doyin who impacts her world and communicates her ideas using public speaking as a vehicle. Guess what community I chose to become a part of? TED of course. As quickly as the thought came to mind, I registered myself for, and attended the June 2017 London TEDx event. I had so much fun just watching others live the dream that I have in my mind. I did it all – had a laugh singing in the ‘make-belief shower’ with fellow attendees, networked a lot and even wore the iconic red & black…. If I’m truthful, apart from being greatly inspired, I haven’t moved any closer to benefiting from that community.

This brings me to another point – while joining a growing community is essential, it’s your participation in it that allows you benefit. Just imagine if I had taken a different route of being involved in planning the TEDx event, I would have benefited from knowing the inner workings of the organisation and maybe even met someone that could coach me towards my dream. It’s the same with church; I have been fortunate to be a part of a fantastic church for the past 15 years. In this time I have seen people miss out on all the benefits this community offers because they simply attended and never totally plugged in through serving.

In conclusion I will say, you can change the direction you are headed by plugging into the right community. However, to maximise the benefits of being impacted by this community, you need to engage in it. Didn’t just attend it, SERVE it.

My challenge to you this month therefore, is to take time out to dream again. Then, write out what communities will power you on your way to your dream. Write them out, and sign up to become a part of them TODAY. Have a blessed month!