Two men smiing with their arms around each other.
Andrew O’Hagan, left, with his inspirational friend Keith Martin in 2018

‘Your best friends are the guardians of your potential’ – Andrew O’Hagan

Isn’t that a lovely way to think of friends? As the people who help keep our potential in front of us, and not let it slip behind. 

Andrew O’Hagan was talking about the lifelong friendship he had that inspired his latest book, Mayflies – described as a novel about life, death and meaning. It’s on my must-read list.

January is often when we examine our potential.

Did we reach it last year? What can we do to advance it this year? 

We launch new ideas, goals, aspirations. It’s a fresh start in progressing our potential. 

My fresh start has seen me leave my job and embark on a new career as a freelance writer, as well as growing my consultancy and coaching practice.

My goals for 2021 include publishing a book on Amazon and starting a master’s degree but my scariest goal is to have feature articles published in a newspaper or magazine. 

It scares me the most because I’ve only ever done TV journalism.  

It scares me because, what if I’m rubbish at it?

So much about it scares me but – I’m going to give it a try. 

Your goals, your ambitions and aspirations might scare you too. And even though 2021 has barely begun, it already feels like keeping our potential ahead of the challenges is going to take work. 

It will but it will be easier with friends who care about our potential. 

We can gather friends around us, in both the real and the digital world. We can enlist the help of people who know more than us and are willing to share it, as we grow and stretch and expand our potential. 

I have wonderful, supportive friends in the real world but I’m also going to lean on those new ‘friends’ in the digital world whose work can help mine. Like freelance writer Lindy Alexander whose blog, The Freelancer’s Year is a boon to anyone interested in making a living from writing. 

I hope you feel you can lean on me too, as a guardian of your potential.

By telling you my goals for 2021, I’ve given myself an accountability partner because I won’t want to let you down. Feel free to let me know your goals if you’d like an accountability partner.

I believe in you. We – you and me – are worth guarding.