Yesterday, I wrote about using your gifts and what you are passionate about for optimal success. Part of that process means not letting someone else define you. In the wise words of Dolly Parton, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose!”

Dolly is an amazing example of someone knowing who she is, knowing what she is passionate about and doing it on purpose. In her book, Dream More, Dolly talks about her high school graduation ceremony. Each graduate in this small class at a school in the mountains of Tennessee were invited to stand and tell what they were going to do after graduation. Some said they were going to get married, and some talked about going to Knoxville to work. When Dolly’s turn came, she announced that she was going to Nashville to become a star. Everyone in the whole place laughed at her. Despite that momentary embarrassment, Dolly stayed the course of making her dream come true and look who’s laughing now!

I’m sharing this with you, because in that moment, Dolly could have just as easily given up and allowed everyone in that room to define her. If you have people in your life trying to define who you are, I encourage you to stop allowing that now. Seek out your true friend, who should also be your truth teller, and discuss your hopes and dreams with that person. Your truth teller should b e that friend who will always be looking out for your best interest. You’ll know who that person is, because they are the one you admire and respect above your other friends. When you find that person, be sure to reciprocate and be that kind of friend to them. Those relationships are hard to find and so valuable once you do.