Advertisements

Archive for the ‘being smarter’ Tag

The Five People You Associate With Most   Leave a comment

It’s a concept that has been around for quite some time.  You’re the sum of the five people you hang around with the most.  It isn’t an exact science.  You aren’t the literal sum of those people.  If you showed me five people I couldn’t calculate specifically what the man, or woman, hanging out with them would be like.  But overall it is a true concept.

If you hang around with people who think “this is it, this is all that I ever will be” what are the chances that you’ll be a person with goals and ambitions?  Not very high.  Even if you started out without that limiting belief, how long would it take, being reminded daily by your five that “this is it”, before you just came to accept it as true?

If your five just likes sitting around all day and watching movies on the tv, or perhaps playing Xbox or Playstation, what do you think your waistline is likely to measure in at?  Do you think that if you suggested that you should all go out for a walk that would go over really well?  I’m guessing you wouldn’t have many takers.  So instead you just sit there with them and do as they do.

If your five likes to hang out after work at a local diner for grub and smokes, are you going to wear a mask and eat a salad?  Unlikely, since we associate with the group we hang with.  I used to do this.  I didn’t smoke myself, but sitting at a booth when everyone else does made that more of a semantic than a fact.  And I certainly wasn’t eating healthy, and it showed.

Whoever your five are, and however they behave, we all have an inherent desire to fit in.  So when the five does something unhealthy, we do it with them.  When the five engages in negativity, we get negative too.  If the five assumes the worst in every situation, we don’t boldly stand up and say “Not me, not today.  I’m thinking positive!”  No, we acquiesce to the group mindset and start planning for the worst.

So the five we hang out with are vitally important to our life and well-being.  Who are your five?

Are they your coworkers?  We spend 40 hours a week with these people, not counting thinking about work on the way in and decompressing from work on the way home.  Are your coworkers happy?  Do they look at the future brightly?  Or do they go on about how work sucks?  Do they spend the 40 hours wishing they didn’t work there?  Do they gossip about other workers behind their backs?

Are they friends?  Would they spend all day staring at a wall if they could?  Do they assume the worst in others?  Do they sit around all day engaging in frivolous tasks?  Or do they go out for hikes?  Do they spend time looking for ways to make life better?  Do they find the best in others because they’re always looking for the best?

Are they your family?  Have they told you that your family is at a certain station in life and that’s just how it is for you, too?  When you tell them your plans do they offer criticisms and limiting beliefs?  Or do they help you find a way to make your plans happen?  When you tell them of your long-term goals do they gleefully dream big with you, or remind you that you need to be realistic?  And by realistic they mean keep your aim low so as not to disappoint yourself.

Here’s the thing.  It doesn’t matter who your five is.  And it doesn’t matter why those five are the way they are.  The commonality in everything I mentioned above is you.  No matter who those five are, you are chosing to associate with them.  Are those five building you up or knocking you down?  Do they nurture, or neutralize?  Are they your cheerleaders?  Or are they the millstone tied around your neck?

When it comes to coworkers, friends, and family you have the ultimate decision of who you spend your time with.  You have to decide what’s most important.  You have to decide who is most important.  If the people in your life right now are not there to help you become the best version of yourself, is that their fault, or yours?  If you work in a negative environment then you need to decide.  Which is more important, happiness or your paycheck?  I’d rather earn less and smile more.  If your friends are sedentary or have negative attitudes, the blame lies in your choice to be with them instead of people who will lift you up and make you whole.

Even when it comes to the big one, family, you still have to decide.  I’m not saying it’ll be easy, or fun, but it’s necessary.  If your family has bought into the notion that life is drudgery, and you have to accept your meager status, you have to choose to leave or stay.  That’s on you.  I’m not saying never see your family again, just make sure that you spend the majority of your time with a new five that makes you better, healthier, and happier.  Who knows, maybe when you do go back and spend time with the fam and they see what you’ve become some of them might jump the ship to the happy boat, too.

The key is to remember that you aren’t being selfish taking care of yourself.  Refusing to spend time with negative old friends or family who bring you down isn’t self-centered, it’s self-preserving.  It all goes back to the concept of you can’t fill a cup from an empty pitcher.  Chosing who you associate with wisely is about putting yourself first, which isn’t a bad thing no matter how many times you’ve been told it is.  When you make yourself whole first you’re a better person for everyone whose life you’ll touch because you’ll be touching those lives in a positive way.  And that’s not a good thing, that’s a great thing.

So spend some time considering who your five are and start making choices.  If they aren’t the five that’s best for you start thinking about who your ideal five would be and get to looking for people who fill that bill.  It’s good for you, it’s good for them, and eventually that’ll make things good for everyone.  All because you didn’t just choose, you chose wisely.  Have a great week.  Peace.

Advertisements

New Vlog Up on YouTube.   Leave a comment

My latest blog is live on YouTube.  It’s about setbacks.  No matter what goal you are trying to accomplish there is always the possibility of setbacks.  The easiest way to deal with them is to plan for them.  There’s nothing wrong with doing so.  It isn’t negative or pessimistic, it’s about being prepared.  I expand on this point in my vlog this week.  I hope you enjoy it.  If you do, please leave a like on my YouTube channel.  If you agree or disagree I’d love to hear your opinion on the vlog, so please leave a comment either on here or on the YouTube channel.  If you like the vlog enough that you want to follow my journey on YouTube please subscribe there and by clicking the bell you’ll be immediately notified every time I post a new video.  Have a great week.

Quick Thought   Leave a comment

Often when we seem to be struggling we’re given the advice by a well meaning friend to just try harder.  If you aren’t succeeding then you aren’t giving it enough effort.  Just keep adding to your effort until you accomplish your goal.

The problem with this is the assumption that you aren’t trying hard enough.  And it’s just that, an assumption.  Let me explain with an analogy.  Say I have a wheelbarrow full of rocks that I want to get to the other side of the hill.  I start pushing the heavy wheelbarrow forward and the steeper the hill gets, the harder I keep pushing.  After a while my progress stops despite the fact that I’m pushing as hard as I can.  Slowly I go backwards as I tire out until I find myself back at the bottom.  The next time I get a running start, hoping the extra momentum will carry me over.  But as before I come to a halt and then slowly go backwards down the hill.  You can encourage and cheer me on all you want, the hill is just too high and steep for me to push the heavy wheelbarrow over.

And therein lies the error with the assumption.  It was never that I wasn’t working hard enough.  I gave it my all.  The problem was that I wasn’t working smart enough.  In being fixated on getting it over the hill, and devoting all my energies there, it never occurred to me to take it around the hill.  It never occurred to me to adjust my strategy.

So as you go about your life, consider the “hills” you’re trying to get over.  If you’ve been working your hardest to do it and still not getting results, reconsider your game plan.  Look for ways you can go around your hill.  Or maybe the solution is to go thru the hill.  But continuing to put in extra effort on doing something that clearly isn’t netting you results isn’t being disciplined, it’s being wasteful.

So stop trying so hard, start trying so smart.  Have a great day.