This life lesson relates to my previous blog #31 Eat Blowfish.
When we first went into the restaurant, there was no way that Toby, Maria or Claire were going to try fugu. By the end of it, we had all tried it. We were cracking jokes, having fun and taking silly photos. All thanks to peer pressure.
Peer pressure is commonly regarded as a bad thing, but it really depends on the outcome. Peer pressure towards a negative outcome, such as doing drugs, is a bad thing. However, peer pressure towards a positive outcome can be a good thing. Maria took a bit of convincing to eat the fugu but admitted that she was glad she tried it when she had the chance.
This goes for all of us. We all loved that we seized the moment and went outside of our comfort zones. Positive peer pressure usually results in accomplishing something that you would not have otherwise. My group of friends feed off this type of positive peer pressure.
We are constantly pushing each other to try new things on our mountain bikes, skis or surfboards. This is especially true in mountain biking. Once someone does a new jump, drop or rides a new feature, they push everyone else to try it. As more people conquer it, the peer pressure builds towards the remaining people. This makes the remaining people hungrier to do it (at least it does for me), until all have conquered it.
While negative peer pressure feels like a push into something you don’t want to do, positive peer pressure is a pull up to a higher level of achievement. Those who have made it to the next level want to share it with others and pressure them to come up to meet them.
This dynamic is easy to see in sports, but also is applicable in many aspects of life. Big decisions in life, such as buying your first home, can be daunting to some people. Decisions like these can easily end up in the too-hard basket and be brushed aside for years. It takes someone we trust to ease us into these big life decisions. Our parents, other friends with houses or a mentor are good examples of people who can help to tip us over the edge, to make the commitment.
Peer pressure is just a part of life and we can’t avoid it. The key is to know the difference between negative peer pressure and positive peer pressure. When in doubt, look at the outcome and see how it will affect you.
What has positive peer pressure helped you achieve? Let me know in the comments below.
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Dave has been on a mission, since 2010, to cross off the 100 items on his bucket list. The stories of his adventures are complimented by life lessons learned along the way and his travel tips are unique to his experiences.