What do the people we hang out with say about us? Do they reinforce who we want to be and where we want to go?
The people we spend our time with will greatly influence our attitudes and actions. They can either lift us up or pull us down. Thus, one of the most important decisions we make in life is who we include in our cluster of friends.
Kids, this is why your parents care so much about who you hang out with. This isn’t only a concern for the young, it is just as important for adults/parents. It doesn’t matter if we are young or old, who we surround ourselves with has a great influence on our lives.
So often we question: Why aren’t our lives going the way we want? Why do we have a “bad attitude”? Why do we seem to get into situations we regret? and so on. One of the first things we should do is take an honest look at the people we spend most of our time with. What are the “attitudes” and “values” of these individuals? There is a good chance they could be reinforcing the behaviors creating our issues.
If we want to excel in an area, it doesn’t matter if you want to be an artist, an athlete, a business entrepreneur, a college student, have a successful marriage or just simply want to have a positive attitude toward life, we must surround ourselves with people that have the same values or have already accomplished what we want.
It’s unlikely we’ll do well in school if we surround ourselves with people that don’t care about their education and don’t value learning. If we hang out with people that party we’ll be drawn into the party scene. If we are having troubles with relationships / marriage we shouldn’t spend all our time talking to others in unhappy/failing relationships, they’ll simply reinforce our unhappiness. If those we spend the most time with constantly complain and find fault with others we’ll be drawn into that dialog and there goes our attitude!
The opposite is also true. We must seek out people that will lift us up, who want from life what we want, who have accomplished what we want to do. They are examples we can learn from and will provide support//inspiration /motivation to pursue our goals. They understand what we want to do and why.
This can be a painful change to make. We may be comfortable in these relationships and more importantly, care deeply for the people. Unfortunately, if we are part of a group that has embraced a lifestyle contrary to what we want it is almost impossible for us as individuals, to change the direction of the group. So, if we want to make a change, we’ll need to do it ourselves by seeking out individuals who support what we want from life.
This doesn’t mean that we must “abandon” all of our existing friends. As we begin to change our attitudes, the individuals in our old group may not be interested in our new direction and will likely become more distant. This may be painful for us, but it is the natural pattern of personal growth. Often people only come into our lives for a season.
This also doesn’t mean that we never associate with others that are “outside” of our core values and goals. We can have many different relationships and be a positive example for others. The key is that our most significant relationships be supportive of the path we want to take in life. These relationships call us up when we need it and will keep us focused in the direction of our goals.
You’re Not Alone!