I realize that question may sound a bit harsh but hear me out. Every once in a while (say once every year or two) you need to take a hard look at who you are spending the most time with and ask what impact they are having on your life. It is likely they are impacting you more more than you realize and you need to understand whether or not they are a positive or negative influence on you.
Did you know that your overall happiness is roughly the average of the happiness of the 5 people you spend the most time with? Your attitude about life is greatly influenced by the 5 people you spend the most time with. Your trajectory (personally and professionally) is, you guessed it, again influenced primarily by the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Get it yet? The 5 people you spend the most time with greatly determine who you are, how you interact with the world, and where you are heading. You have to ask yourself the following question about each and every one of your top friends: Are they helping to lift me up, are the supporting and encouraging my dreams or are they holding me back?
Your friends do not have nefarious intentions. But very often people subconsciously resist change, and your growth and success is a change they just not might be comfortable with. Again, this is not intentional and more of a subconscious act. They may not encourage you or push you to grow as much as they could simply because it may change the dynamic of your relationship. Remember, it's not intentional but change makes many people uncomfortable.
If you are serious about becoming the best version of yourself and about achieving success in all 5 areas (Head, Heart, Health, Wealth, and World) then you seriously need to take a strong and unbiased look at your friends. You need to determine who is a plus in your life (encouraging you, pushing you, exposing you to new ideas, etc.) and who is a minus in your life (not pushing you to grow, not bringing new ideas to your attention, not encouraging your dreams, keeping you in the same routine, etc.). Spend as much time as you can with the plus people in your life and reduce the time with the minus people in your life.
Again, I know this sounds a bit harsh or uncaring but really it’s not. Life is short and you cannot get time back. We all have 24 hours each day- no one gets more. Choose to use your waking hours to expand your horizons, challenge yourself to grow and become the best you that you can be (and trust me – you can do and achieve a lot more than you give yourself credit for today). Surround yourself as much as possible with people who truly want you to flourish. The people who are a plus will help you on the next leg of your journey.
None of this makes your current friends bad people. It’s just that you need to understand who is truly helping you move develop to your full potential and who is not. The reality is that we change over time. Our wants, needs, hopes, dreams all change. Doesn’t it make sense that our friends wants, needs, hopes and dreams are changing as well and the fact that you have known someone for a period of time should not be the only determining factor whether or not they should continue to have influence over you? I am not at all saying to cut old friends out of your life, I am just asking you to take some time and think about who is helping you grow and who is really not, both in actions and words.
You and only you are responsible for your achieving your definition of success. Make sure you have the best support team you can in order to give yourself the best chance at making that happen.
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