My high school age daughter runs track and field. She participates in multiple events but the hurdle race is where she shines. This season, she broke the school record in the 100 meter hurdles which hadn’t been beat in twenty-eight years.

As I watch my daughter compete, I am reminded of two life lessons.

Lesson #1: Surround Yourself with the Best
As my daughter was preparing for last week’s track and field meet, she mentioned that there were a number of athletes who were better than her. I asked if she was concerned about winning the race. She said, “No, I’m not worried. In fact, I know I’m not going to win this one. I’m excited because these kids are faster than me and they will push me to be better. I know I can learn from them.” These words she spoke made me incredibly proud. She has learned a valuable life lesson; set goals, work hard and train with the best. She understands you don’t have to be an expert at everything. In order to get better, she must seek out the best in the field and learn from them.

Lesson #2: Pay It Forward…Mentor Someone
The night of the big track and field meet arrived. I’m watching my daughter warm up. I see her taking the time to coach one of the freshman hurdlers. She even asked me to video a practice run of her teammate so she could use it to show what was working well and what was not. My daughter worked with her teammate for quite a while, making several suggestions to the freshman on her form and footing. She was positive in her coaching approach, telling her teammate not to give up and if she keeps working at it, she will get it.

No matter what your goals are in life, personal or professional, seek out those who have already been successful in that area. Surround yourself with them and learn as much as you can. You will reach your goals if you do this. On the flip side, remember that you may be the expert for someone else. Pay it forward.