You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. - Jim Rohn
Some people are supportive, helpful and positive. Some are negative, always questioning your ability and skills. It's much more helpful if you surround yourself with the positive people and listen to the other group. You can't improve a lot if you surround yourself with negative people. It's however easy to fall into the trap of having this kind of friends. I believe it's because people underestimate the power of influence others have on us, and overestimate the power of individual decision.
Yes, you can choose freely. But your behavior and attitude is very often influenced by all the people around you. Therefore if you want to be a faster runner, be in a group of really fast runners. If you want to become a great golfer, surround yourself with a group of great golfers.
When you surround yourself with the right people, you put yourself on the track to bigger accomplishments. The right people might have one or all of these characteristics:
They are successful at what they do.
They bring new ideas, challenge assumptions.
The push you and support you to become better.
They listen to you.
Their ability to listen is one the most important, because if they are not tentative listeners they don't know what's important to you, what are your goals and what you want to achieve. Great people will challenge your ideas in a friendly way, the will offer they time, energy and time for you and the best way to keep them is to do the same.
There are four ways how you learn from great people:
You learn from what they do well.
You learn from things they do and you see how to do better.
You learn from their mistakes.
You learn from their feedback.
The very easy question to start an interesting conversation might be:
How did you become …?
Which books inspired you the most to become …?
How did you practice to become …?
From which mistakes have you learned?
You have a lot to gain. I believe that we don't ask questions only because of fear. So feel fear and ask anyway. Growing is usually a collective thing, and such as a seed grows the best in great soil, we grow better with great people.