I’ve always tried to surround myself with interesting people, where possible, and have gathered a good bunch of friends, with all different traits and views, along the way.
When I went through ‘ad school’, it was hammered home that this was the right way to go – surround yourself with interesting people, who have/are; different views, different hobbies, different skills and talents, of the opposite sex, from different countries etc.
In fact, when choosing an art director partner, many years back, we were advised to think in the same way: choose someone different to yourself.
I chose a Brazilian, female art director (already a different mindset through both gender and culture), who was (and still is) a talented illustrator, a photographer … and who was more than happy to disagree with me when we were working on a brief.
This is necessary – two partners who agree on everything, produce boring work. Disagreeing refines the work to the point where you’ve both pushed it as far as it can go.
I was reminded of the importance of being around interesting people, across the weekend.
I was kindly invited for lunch at friends, and there were five of us present, altogether.
We all have different backgrounds, different political views, different interests and skills, different stories to tell … you get the gist.
Over 10 hours, we talked about politics, relationships, marbles, lopsided animal testicles, our backgrounds, our hobbies, Katie Hopkins, Jeremy Clarkson.
All of these conversations were coloured by our pre-existing views and experiences.
Sometimes we agreed, sometimes we didn’t, but that made for good conversation.
I even found myself disagreeing strongly with my friend’s views on why she quite liked Katie Hopkins, but understanding her reasoning in doing so.
Apart from being an enjoyable day, it was just nice to be surrounded by interesting people with different views to my own.
It also has to be one of the easiest ways to fill your head with new ideas – just chatting.
Try it. Surround yourself with interesting people.