How to Attract The Most Awesome People Into Your Life

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Vlad Dolezal from Fun Life Development.

Let me tell you the story of a rabbit called Rabbit.

It was a sunny spring day, and Rabbit was outside, playing with other young rabbits. He was still growing up and discovering the world at this point.

All of a sudden, one of the big grown-up rabbits overlooking the children shrieked in alarm.

“Wolves! Wolves! Run for your lives!”

The little rabbits panicked, started running every which way and bumping into each other, but eventually got organized and sped away into the depths of the forest. Except for Rabbit. He decided to stay.

“Why should I run from wolves?” he reasoned. “I want to be strong and feared like them. Instead of running, I will pretend to be a wolf and join them.”

So he waited. The leader of the wolf pack ran up to him… and stopped. He looked at Rabbit in confusion.

“Shouldn’t you be running away?”

“Why should I run?” Replied Rabbit. “I’m a wolf. Other animals run away from me.

The wolf leader tilted his head and eyed him suspiciously. “You don’t look like a wolf to me.”

“Nope, I’m definitely a wolf.”

“Alright,” said the wolf leader as the rest of the pack caught up. (He was the leader because of his speed and strength, not because of his intelligence.) “Hey everyone, this little fella here will be joining our pack. What’s your name?”

“My name is Rabb… uh… Robbit. Yeah, Robbit.”

“Alright! Welcome to the pack. Let’s see if we can catch up with those rabbits that were here a few moments ago, I’m getting hungry.”

And that’s how Rabbit joined the wolf pack.

He lived with them for many months. He learned to growl, and track prey, and act all tough and serious to be respected by the wolves.

Too many interesting things happened to tell here, but one notable story from those months I want to share is the day when Rabbit first ate meat.

The wolf pack had just finished a big hunt for deer, with huge success. They were distributing the prey, and one of the older wolves tore off a big chunk of deer thigh and tossed it to Rabbit.

“Hey, Robbit! Have some of this. You deserve it, you did really well during the hunt, chasing the deer towards us.”

“Uh…” hesitated Rabbit. “Eat some of this?”

“Sure. Prime deer thigh. What kind of a wolf are you if you don’t like deer?”

“The biggest and baddest wolf around!” exclaimed Rabbit, taking a large bite of raw deer meat.

“That’s more like it! How do you like it?”

“It’s… ungh… hrrp… delicious!” said Rabbit, trying to keep the chunk of meat down and focusing all his energy on not throwing up.

“Right on!” said the wolf, and walked off to chat with someone else. Rabbit quickly ran behind some bushes and threw up the meat.

From that day on, he always pretended to eat the meat they gave him, while secretly dragging most of it away, and throwing up the little bit he was forced to eat while others were watching. He once tried nibbling grass in front of the others, but was laughed at, and since then always ate secretly while the others slept.

Overall, Rabbit mostly liked his time with the wolves. He was feared and respected by most animals, and that’s what he wanted, after all. Right? Right??

But deep inside, he didn’t feel that great. The continuous pretence was tiring him out. He was wondering if the other wolves also often felt anxious and vaguely dissatisfied with life, but he never brought it up with any of them for fear of appearing weak.

Then, one day, while scouting the area for prey, Rabbit came across a couple of little creatures that looked remarkably like himself.

They were hopping around, and playing in the grass, cuddling each other and chasing each other around. In his shock, Rabbit completely forgot to growl and look fearsome. He just stood there, enchanted, until one of the playing rabbits noticed him.

“Hi there! Want to join us?”

Rabbit was taken by surprise, and automatically mumbled “Uh… yeah. Sure.”

And he did join them.

And as he hopped around and played with them, it felt like coming home. Here, everybody was doing exactly what he’d always been getting weird urges to do but suppressed because he wouldn’t fit in with the wolves. He even saw a few of the rabbits nibbling some grass, in plain view of everyone.

He tried eating some himself, gingerly at first. He kept glancing around, but nobody laughed at him. Nobody called him a “sissy grass-eater.” If they noticed him at all, they didn’t pay him any attention, like eating grass was the most natural thing in the world.

And Rabbit realized that for all his wanting to be feared and respected like a wolf, he was still just a rabbit. And what really made him happy was doing all those little things that rabbits do.

He never went back to the wolf pack. He stayed with the rabbits, and lived the rest of his life content and happy.

What’s the lesson from Rabbit’s story?

Far too often, I see people who change who they are, or pretend to be someone they’re not, just to impress other people and be liked.

The thing is, if you need to change who you are to fit around certain people… they’re probably not the right people for you anyway.

Instead, by being yourself, you will naturally attract just the sort of people who will love hanging out with you. And, in turn, you will love hanging out with them!

The right kind of people – those you will love hanging out with – will love you not despite your strange habits and quirks, but because of them. As Ali Luke puts it:

You are not a dress shirt that needs every wrinkle ruthlessly ironed out. You are a warm, snuggly sweater, loved not in spite of but because of your loose threads, your crumpled bits, your huggable qualities.

Forget about impressing others. Just be yourself. The most awesome people (by your personal definition of “awesome”) will be attracted to exactly that.

About the author: Vlad Dolezal writes Fun Life Development, a blog based on the idea that real personal development is as effortless and fun as riding a sled, instead of feeling like you’re struggling uphill in four feet of snow. With a lead ball chained to your foot. So if you liked this post, check out his blog, or follow him on twitter.

Comments

  1. says

    I can’t believe how engaging this story was – I was just cleaning and organizing and realized I have some posts to catch up on and my goodness, I will forever remember the Rabbit/Robbit story. THANK YOU…..!

  2. says

    Hi Vlad!

    I agree with Farnoosh – this was a wonderfully enjoyable story! :)

    And what an important lesson, too – to be who you are instead of pretending to be something you’re not. It really is the best way to feel happy and fulfilled. :)

    • says

      Hi Jess, I know, it was so much fun to read this – so yes Vlad, tell us more parables. I love being told a story with a photo and especially in this writing voice!

    • says

      Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback, I started thinking about writing another parable.

      So far, I have a good feeling about it. I think I have one idea that’s very well suited to a parable. It might take a bit of time to get it all done (2 weeks? longer?), but it should come. Stay tuned :)

  3. says

    One of Aesop’s lesser known tales? :) What I loved about this story””besides the moral that you talked about””is the theme of wandering off your true path and then finding your way back a little wiser and more appreciative for your meandering. I think that’s something that everyone can relate to as well.

    • says

      The cool thing is, I never thought about that while writing the story. I just thought “Hey, how can I best explain this concept? Hmmm… wouldn’t it be cool if there was a rabbit who pretended to be a wolf?” :D

      Now I know what Stephen King meant when he said that most of his stories write themselves. I had no idea what was going to happen to Rabbit when I started writing the story.

  4. Archan Mehta says

    Thanks for the quote from Ali Hale (Luke).

    Ali’s a talented writer, so enjoyed what she had to offer here.

    Your post was well-written and quite engaging. Thank you.

    Every individual struggles to find his or her one, true “voice.”

    By joining the herd, we succumb to the mob mentality and turn into dumb, driven cattle and timid sheep.

    That’s no way to work and live. Better to march to the beat of your own drummer, regardless of the consequences.

    After all, life is short and time is fleeting and pretty soon you’re old and full of regrets. No, thanks. Cheerio.

    • says

      You’re welcome, Rob! I can’t wait for you to start growling and throwing up raw meat at business meetings…

      …wait, that wasn’t the lesson you took away from the story?

  5. says

    Sorry, but I don’t get it. The headline and the story don’t send me in the same direction. I think I’m stuck right here:

    Forget about impressing others. Just be yourself. The most awesome people (by your personal definition of “awesome”) will be attracted to exactly that.

    So, if I’m a slob in the gutter, am I supposed to think other slobs in gutters are “awesome,” because for sure, those are the only people who will be attracted to me?

    My point is really that the headline says one thing, but the story suggests something else entirely. There is nothing in the story that supports the rabbit attracting awesome people to him, once he decides to hang with rabbits. Being happy is fine, but that’s not what the headline promises.

    So I’m feeling baited-and-switched here. Could be that I’m not “your people,” and possibly not Charlie’s people, and maybe that’s the right decision to reach. But I’ll bet neither you nor Charlie had that as the reason for writing the post–“Let’s flush out the people who might pay attention to headline and post alignment, and make them unsubscribe or at least not click through anymore!”

    yrs,
    kt

    • says

      Sure, the point you mention isn’t in the rabbit story. That’s why I added it in the text afterwards.

      I could have added a bit where the rabbit tries to join three different groups of rabbits, but scares off the first two by pretending to be a wolf. Then finally discovers that just being himself instead leads to the rabbits liking him and playing with him and hanging out with him for everyone’s mutual enjoyment. But I felt that the story was already getting long as it was, and the current version flows nicely.

      So, there’s the part of the story you felt was missing. (Feel free to fill in the details yourself). :)

    • says

      Thanks for commenting, Karen.

      Parables often introduce surprising, ironic, or satirical elements to them, so it’s easy to not “get” them. The post also displays a bit of Vlad’s (and mine) perception of what’s being taught in some circles about how to be “awesome,” “rock star,” or whatever trendy word du jour describes people who others want to be like.

      Parables also often leave the meaning and message open – they’re not created to instruct as much as they are to prompt reflection. How A Wealthy Sage Becomes A Poor Hermit has the both the openness and the surprise in it, too.

      So, you were baited and switched – twice. Maybe more, depending on the multiple meanings you come to. The headline has the implicit promise that it’s going to be a how-to a la Napolean Hill, switches to a parable, and then shows the end goal that you started with might lead you to an unexpected place.

      Perhaps you disagree with Vlad’s point that focusing on becoming a better you will attract a better them, though, in which case we’re not talking about the style of the expression but the substance of the message.

      Does this help?

  6. says

    You obviously had fun writing this! It was a fab read, too.

    I was initially thinking the moral would be something like “Everyone around you is a rabbit, but you can be a wolf!” But I liked where this went much better. :-)

    Thanks for quoting me, btw!

    • says

      Yea, I haven’t had so much fun writing a blog post in ages :D

      And I like how you’re unwittingly proving Charlie’s point that there are many ways to interpret a fable and learn from it.

      Aaaaand… thank YOU for saying such a quotable quote for me to quote!

  7. says

    Great story. And it makes a good point. The only problem with just being yourself, is if you unlikeable, unusual, eccentric or hold anti-social views. I think it then becomes a little tricky.

    Terry

    • says

      I personally think of myself as unusual and eccentric, and it’s precisely by being myself that I found people I really love hanging out with! For example I love walking around barefoot in the summer, even in the city (usually). If I always tried to fit in, I would never find other people who like to do the weird quirky things I like to do.

      And I think that unless you’re an actual sociopath (a very rare condition), then being authentic will make you more likeable than pretending to be someone you’re not.

  8. says

    From a blogger’s point of view, the good, important lesson here is not to try and be someone else (everyone wants to be Chris Brogan lately) and just give your imprint to what you write about and to what you do.
    The only way to make a good personal brand is to actually show yourself, not your impression of someone else.

    • says

      That’s spot on, Gabriele. When I first came across Steve Pavlina’s blog a few months after I started blogging, I felt really crap, because this guy was exactly like me… except better. And years ahead in terms of life experience and crazy experiments.

      Of course, I later realized I’m not the same as him, and DO have a unique contribution to bring to people.

  9. says

    I believe that it’s not hard to attract awesome people into your life, what’s hard is to stay away from the other people (people who are negative and just get in your way). If you can’t let go of the negative crowd, who are just clutter, and won’t do anything to help you. If you still hang out with this crowd, they’ll mess up your relationship with the awesome people in your life (at least that’s what I believe).

    Great story!

  10. says

    What a little weirdo that Robbit is – just like me :)

    Loved the story and the message, which for me isn’t just “be yourself” but also that “this is a journey and we grow by making mistakes and trying to fit in, till we can’t take it anymore and find our true path”.

    It’s something that can’t be taught, it has to be experienced. Some people never do and that to me is sad but also a cautionary tale of how not to live my life.

    Story telling rawks!

  11. says

    Loved the rabbit story, Vlad!

    I agree. I absolutely hate it when others try to pretend they’re something they’re not. It’s better to stay real with yourself and collaborate with others you feel comfortable with.

    You can’t hide from who you are. By trying to create a copy of someone else, you’re not you – and being _you_ is what makes you unique and fun to be around.

    Christina

  12. says

    Not only a delightful story but one that is so important to digest. Remaining true to ourselves is vital but there are times where we may step off that path.

    This week I had an experience that changed the way I look at myself when I take a “detour”. I was forgiving and grateful, “knowing” that it was ok that I took that slight detour but also quickly aware that wasn’t where I wanted to be, I wasn’t authentic to my Self.

  13. taja says

    What about the story of the wolf who decides she feels guilty about being a wolf, chasing down other animals and eating them? The one who decides to join the rabbit gang, because it feels much nicer to frolic and play and cuddle and just hang out? That wolf won’t fit in either, and long for meat, and begin to feel hemmed in by the necessity of always being gentle, even when it’s a pretense.

    And if the wolf spends too much time mashing down her wolf-ness and pretending to be a rabbit, she might go a bit mad one day and eat its fuzzy little friends. And even if the wolf decides to be true to herself and just go back to the pack, what should she do about the guilt over being a wolf that sometimes remains?

    That’s just as much of a problem. Not everyone’s a rabbit.

    • says

      Sure, Taja, I absolutely agree.

      The moral here isn’t “wolves are bad and rabbits are good”, it’s that being yourself will make you happier in the long term than trying to change who you are to fit in with people who have different values.

  14. says

    I believe that it’s not hard to attract awesome people into your life, what’s hard is to stay away from the other people (people who are negative and just get in your way). If you can’t let go of the negative crowd, who are just clutter, and won’t do anything to help you. If you still hang out with this crowd, they’ll mess up your relationship with the awesome people in your life (at least that’s what I believe). Great story!

    • says

      You’re absolutely right. I don’t have much experience writing fables (I just decided to make this one on a whim). In the future, I’m planning to leave the readers to do the analysis themselves :)

  15. Derrick says

    Clever story but, a wolf will eat a rabbit for sure,a rabbit will never eat meat still I must congratulate you cause people will eat anything.

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