Finding our best selves in other people

We are usually happiest and make the biggest difference in the world when we most consistently act on behalf of our highest values, use our most important strengths, and treat others with respect—that is, when we are our best selves.

And the positive emotions associated with those experiences motivate us to be that best self again.

Our best selves can also be inspired by people who display qualities we wish to cultivate in ourselves.

Ask yourself: “What would [insert the name of a relevant person you respect] do in this situation?”

The answer to that question can guide us in becoming our best selves in times when those qualities are most needed.

Which people, near or far, inspire your best self?

Note to readers: I will be taking a sabbatical from blog writing during the next few months to refresh and renew. Best wishes to everyone for an enjoyable summer (or winter if you happen to be Down Under).

7 Responses to “Finding our best selves in other people”


  1. 1 Exie Lynn Seay June 6, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Thank you, Dennis! YOU continue to teach and inspire me. For your wisdom, I am deeply grateful. I trust that your retreat will be invigorating. Cheers!

  2. 2 Bob Jackson June 6, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Enjoy your sabbatical. Thank you for all of your inspirational and motivational posts.

  3. 3 Monique Beels June 6, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Enjoy your sabbatical Dennis. I am looking forward to more blogs!

  4. 4 Corrie Gicante June 6, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Thank you for inspiring us to be “best selves”. Enjoy your well deserved sabbatical.

  5. 5 Syndee Malek June 7, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Thank you Dennis!! Enjoy! I will miss your inspiration!!! Thank you as always for pushing us to reflect on a regular basis. 🙂

  6. 6 rickrepicky June 10, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Another great post, Dennis – NY Times columnist David Brooks gave a great general description of people who inspire my best self when he wrote on May 28, 2018, about those who have, “a civic consciousness, a sense that we live life embedded in community and nation, that we owe a debt to community and nation and that the essence of the admirable life is community before self.”

    I used this measuring stick for picking my closest advisors and educational heroes. Some of these better-known heroes include you, Rick DuFour, Tom Many, Jerry Jennings, Tesha Thomas, Bill Keane, Joyce Fouts, and many more.

    Enjoy your time off – well deserved.


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