Walking With Pete: If You Want To Be A Lion Surround Yourself With Lions

In this episode of Walking With Pete I chat a little bit about the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded, positive, motivated people when it comes to pursuing what’s important to you.

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Walking With Pete: If you want to be a lion then surround yourself with other lions 

G’day everyone. Welcome to this episode of Walking With Pete.

[I’m] back at it again out in the park having a… a cheeky little walk in the afternoon. I’ve been listening to some of my language podcasts, and just walking around and enjoying the sun as it’s been pretty cold more recently here in Melbourne. There’s been a lot of… a lot of cold weather, and it actually snowed recently around um… Victoria at sea-level, which is a pretty rare event. I mean, it didn’t… it didn’t snow in the city but, there were some smaller towns / cities nearby like Ballarat that ah… got a little bit of a blanket of snow the other day, and Tasmania, again, down in the south has been getting covered with it. So, if you were on the Facebook page recently you may’ve seen the kangaroo sanctuary picture that I put up that had all of those kangaroos huddling together in the snow down in Tasmania, which is a bit of a rare sight. So, that was interesting.

Um… Today I was going to talk to you about a few things. One of them was, if you want to be a lion you’ve got to surround yourself with other lions. So, what does this mean? This is a term or an expression that isn’t really… it’s not really used. I mean it’s not really said like that, but this is what someone said to me once when I first started jiu-jitsu, the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Someone said, you know, if you want to be a lion you’ve got to train with other lions, and I guess the basic idea is that if you want to be good at something obviously you need to surround yourself with other people who also want to be good at something, are better than you at the thing that you’re trying to be good at, and who are incredibly motivated. So, people who you can feed off. And when I say “feed off of someone” it means to sort of gain motivation from someone. So, if you feed off of someone’s motivation it means that from their motivation you yourself gain motivation. So, say, if I’m trying to lose weight. If I’m a bit overweight and I want to… I want to go outside and exercise more often it’s going to obviously be better for me to surround myself with like-minded people, other people who are motivated to be fit, to be healthy, whether they are fit and healthy already or whether they also want to lose weight and become fit and healthy. And then, because of their motivation I can feed off of that and also be motivated, and vice versa. So, they can feed off of my motivation, and we can both work hard together. As opposed to, if you surround yourself with people who don’t want what you want, who don’t have the same kind of motivation or ambition or interests that you do it’s going to be so much harder for you to try and attain the goals that you’ve set yourself, say, weight loss, in that example. If you’re trying to really concentrate on getting into shape, losing some weight and getting fit, if you surround yourself with people who are overweight and eat a lot of bad food, they stay at home, they’re not very active, you know, they don’t go outside, they don’t exercise, they have no interest in being healthy then it’s going to be a lot harder for you to follow your ambitions of losing weight and becoming healthy if you’re constantly surrounded with other people who aren’t interested in that at all. You know, it’s kind of like, if you want to learn English surround yourself with other people who want to learn English or who want to learn languages, whereas if you surround yourself with people who don’t give a… don’t give a crap about learning languages, or about you know, learning English or self-improvement, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to motivate yourself and follow your dreams. So, I guess the idea is that if you want to be a lion surround yourself with other lions. If you were to go into Africa, into the wild, into well… the bush in Africa, and you wanted to be a lion your best option is to find lions and join them. Behave like them. Live with them. If you want to be a lion then it’s a pretty stupid idea to go and find a herd of zebras and follow them around, you know, you’re going to become a zebra. So, that’s the basic idea of that.

I guess one of the second points was that don’t be afraid to be the dumbest part… the dumbest person in the room, you know, or the worst person in the room. That’s often an incredibly good sign guys. So, this is… this sort of comes back to worrying about making mistakes in English and having conversations with people who are at a higher level than you, or who are native speakers. You should really look for these opportunities and relish these opportunities. And what do I mean by “relish”? When I say “relish” I mean enjoy them, you know, really have fun with them. Be excited to be in those sorts of situations, because that is when you’re truly going to improve. You don’t… you don’t get better by surrounding yourself with people lower than you with regards to whatever it is that you are trying to improve upon. So, if I want to get better at French it’s a lot better for me to surround myself with people who speak French better than me, people who are native French speakers, than it is for me to surround myself with say, people who’ve just started French, who’re beginners, who don’t speak French at all, who don’t speak French very well, who don’t speak French as good or better than me. It’s going to be a lot better for me to be the worst person in the room than for me to be the best person in the room, at least in terms of my personal growth. So, that’s why I wanted to say that as well. I wanted to touch on the fact that it’s often… it’s hard, it’s difficult to be the worst person in the room, but if you can continually put yourself in that situation you’re going to advance a lot quicker than someone who only looks for situations where they are the best in the room, because they’re not going to be getting pushed. They’re not going to be getting um… into situations where they have to learn as much, as you would if you were the worst person in the room. And this happens exactly with me and jiu-jitsu. If I want to get good at jiu-jitsu I need to be focused less on beating people who are worse than me and focus more on not losing to people who are better than me, but trying to survive. I may not necessarily be able to beat people who are better than me, but I’m going to be able to learn a lot more from losing to better people than I’m going to be able to learn from beating worse people. So, I guess that’s the main take-away point. If you guys want to be really really good at English continually look for situations where you are the worst speaker in the room, and I… I don’t mean intentionally be bad, I mean just look for situations where you’re going to be pushed. Look… look for situations where you’re going to really have to try hard. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes. You’re surrounding yourself with people who are better than you, and you’re only option is to improve you know, you kind of give yourself no exits. You have to get better to be able to hang around with these people. And by hanging around with these people you will naturally just get better anyway. So, you can’t avoid it. So, that’s… that’s mainly today’s subject. I just wanted to sort of go over that idea of if you want to be a lion surround yourself with other lions. And I guess there’s one other point to it, which I kind of, sort of, covered previously, a moment ago, but it’s so much easier to stay on track, to stay on track, to stay motivated, to continue doing what you’re doing on a daily basis, if you only surround yourself with like-minded, motivated, positive people. So, if you have negative people in your life who lack ambition, who lack… who lack motivation, who don’t want to see you succeed, or who are going to have a toll, or take a toll, on your success, who are going to hold you back, you need to think about removing those people from your life. Maybe not permanently, but you need to try and get rid of the… those people who have a negative effect on you and are holding you back from your true potential in whatever area that is, you know, whether it’s language learning, whether it’s in the professional realm, you know, with regards to your job, whether it’s your family as well, you know. For example, say you have um… one person who always comes to family events, who turns those family events into really horrible parties, you know, they just… they always end up doing something wrong and offending a lot of people, or upsetting someone, then obviously if you want to make those events in the future better you need to think about removing that person from the equation. So, removing that person from those sort of situations, or at least talking to them and telling them, you know, “Hey, this is why we get together. This is what we want to do. We want to have fun. We want to enjoy ourselves, and by you doing these things you’re having a really negative impact on that and you need to be thinking about whether or not it’s fair on everyone else, and if you’re going to behave like that in the future you shouldn’t come to the parties”. So, with regards to language learning, if… if someone’s holding you back, or making fun of you, or… you know, just having a negative effect overall with regards to your English learning, or language learning, whatever language you’re learning, you need to think about trying to remove them from your life to some degree at least so that you can follow your ambitions, follow your motivations and be more successful. You know, maybe it doesn’t mean removing them completely, but maybe it means spending less time with those sorts of people, you know, if you see them all the time, if they’re a negative influence, you probably want to try and reduce the amount of time you spend with them so that you can pursue your… your dreams. What you’re interested in, and do as best as you possibly can. So, try and find like-minded, similarly interested, motivated people to surround yourself with, and in turn they’re going to keep motivated. They’re going to keep you motivated. You’re going to keep them motivated, and you’ll feed off one another. You know, you’ll both head towards success at a faster rate than if you were both trying to do so on your own, or on your own and worse, surrounded by negative people. So, that’s today’s thing anyway guys.

Um… I’m going to try and go home now and smash out a few more episodes of the pronunciation and some expressions. I’ve dropped quite a few expressions in this… in this podcast, Walking With Pete. So, more recently I’ve been trying to record the Walking With Pete episodes first and then as I write the transcript out in these episodes I actually see the expressions and idioms that I used naturally without even thinking about it, because I make these episodes with no script, I just talk, and that’s probably why you hear a lot of um’s and ah’s and half finished sentences a lot of the time, especially if you read the transcripts of these episodes, um… you probably see a lot of half-finished sentences. But I hope you like that format because I feel like it hits home a little more if I use these expressions and idioms that I use naturally, for one, you know that I use them naturally, and I’m not thinking about it I just say them, and two, you’ve heard them previously. So, when I make a specific episode on these expressions and idioms you can then listen to these older episodes of Walking With Pete and you’ll hear the same ones again. And you can hear me use them in a natural setting, in a natural context without thinking about it.

So, anyway, this episode’s probably gone long enough today. I hope you guys are all well. I hope your English is kicking arse. I hope you’re improving and listening and… and just enjoying the process. If you have any questions, any queries, anything you want me to cover in the future, you know, if it’s expressions, words, pronunciation related um… things. If you have any… any topics that you’d just like me to talk about feel free please to contact me whether it’s on Facebook or whether it’s on the webpage. Send me a message. Send me a comment publicly. [It’s] totally up to you guys but I love interacting with you, I love talking to you. So, even if you just want to say hello please feel free to. I’m always available to chat to you guys. So, anyway. I’ll leave it there and I’ll chat to you next time guys. All the best!


A blanket ofA thin layer of

To feed off of someone/somethingto be nourished, sustained, or fueled by something.

To get into shape – to get fit.

To [not] give a crap about something – To [not] care or worry about something.

To touch on something – To mention or talk about something.

A take-away point – The main or primary point.

To give no exits – To give no means of escape.

To stay on track – To continue doing what you’re doing.

Like-minded – Of the same opinion or view.

To hold someone back [from something] – To prevent someone from doing what they want to do.

To remove someone from the equation – To remove someone from the situation.

To hit home – To really make sense; to be completely understood and have strong effect.

To kick arse – To do very well.

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