Garrett and I sat in his driveway on a rainy Saturday our senior year. We didn't have too many of these left, with him leaving fort he Air Force Academy and me preparing to spend a year traveling the state of Oregon for a leadership position I'd just been elected to. We could both sense that our friendship was shifting and maybe that's what spurred the next conversation.
As he backed out of the driveways, I pondered our friendship. I'd always been jealous of Garrett. He got straight A's, was president of the school, captain of the football team, and after he got his braces off, was quite frankly better looking. As far as pairs of best friends goes, I was the Robin to his Batman. In my mind, I was always reaching up to try and meet the standard that Garrett was setting.
In the midst of that thought Garrett turns to me and asks, "Did I tell you what Ranjy and I talked about the other day?" Ranjy was Garrett's mentor and they were constantly talking so I had no idea if I'd heard this story or not.
"Uh, not sure." "We talked about how important people are in our lives. Three people in particular." Three? I wondered which three names Garrett was going to mention.
"Ranjy said that I should always strive to have a one up, a one over, and a one down. Someone you look up to that is mentoring you, someone you are lifting up and helping to mentory, and someone you are walking side by side with to hold you accountable."
Almost as if he had been reading my mind, he said, "Jason I think you're my one over. We keep each other accountable."
It meant a lot at the time to be considered equal by someone I truly admired, but the mutual benefit of living out the responsibility of being each other's "One Over" for the past ten years has meant so much more.
Garrett's advice is simple and it's backed by science. Individuals with quality mentors have increased self-confidence, higher salaries, and reduced levels of anxiety. The benefit of having a mentor, a quality friend to hold you accountable, and someone you can pour into is unmatched as far as life decisions go.
If you're looking to get life back on track, break through a period of stagnation, or simply want the best for yourself, then consider finding a one up, one over, and one down.
Get coffee with your one over this week and make sure they know the important role they play in your life.
Who is your One Up? One Over? One Down? Do they know it?
“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson