By Paul Oneid
This sounds quite cliché and that is unfortunate because this statement holds a lot of water. You can tell a lot about someone by whom they chose to associate with. Many people may appear to have it all together, but all their friends are unemployed, or have very little ambition. These people seem to have it all together until you look deeper. Now, no one is perfect, nor should this be the expectation you hold for people you’re interested in being friends with, but these are the people whose actions and attitudes will affect your own. Self-reflection is important here as well. The people you surround yourself with are not only an influence on your life, but they are a direct reflection of you and your choices and attitudes. The relationships you cultivate are a barometer for your life and the direction that it is heading. As with everything in life, and the weather, this changes over time.
Consider this a personal inventory of sorts. Look at your life and the directions it has taken – the twists and the turns, the good and the bad. Now, think back on the people that were closest to you during those times. When you were growing, and thriving, such as school, or early adulthood, did your friends share your drive and ambition, or did they hold you back? If they held you back, why is that? Did you want an out? Did you want a distraction? Maybe you wanted to help them and influence them to follow you? We can all find examples in our own lives of all these situations. A friend who inspired you to be better, or a friend who tried to pull you from your path. How does this reflect on you? What does this mean about you, your personality, your goals and your drive? Were these influential people effective at steering your life in one direction, or another?
You may find that a lot of the milestones in your life have come when you’ve surrounded yourself with the right people at the right times. Take Brian and 10/20/Life for example. Brian jumped from job to job just to allow him to pursue his lifting. He worked at Coke-a-Cola, worked as an Massage Therapist and started the process to join the police department. As Brian accumulated his core group of influential people, his life’s work started to mold itself. In no particular order, he started training at Team Samson, met his wife Ria, got picked up by EliteFTS, and the final piece of the puzzle was meeting Dr. McGill. Brian’s life transitioned to where it is today in conjunction with accumulating the right people at the right time. Each person, or group, added a different element to Brian’s vision and supported him in a different manner. While I am sure this is not the cause of Brian’s success, it was most certainly an important catalyst. Who are your catalysts?
On the other side of the coin is the person who jumps from job opportunity to job opportunity and touts each one as “The Next Big Thing.” He, or she is never successful in their endeavors and continues this cycle of poor outcomes. Dig deeper into this person’s life and you will often see the same trends. Typically, the change in business venture coincides with a change in romantic relationship. Each of these relationships were “true love.” This person has a history of moving often and not staying in the same place too long, even since childhood. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this person lacks a stabilizing figure, or role model. They end up searching for this stability in work, or relationships and seldom find it. True stability comes from within, but without the appropriate template, or blueprint, you may not know what you’re looking for. Are you this person? Do you know this person?
There are a lot of questions here and this is a good thing. We need to look within ourselves to find the meaning behind the decisions we make and the paths we chose. Life is the cumulative manifestation of the consequences of the decisions you make. These decisions will either enhance your happiness, or leave you questioning where you went wrong. Without self-reflection, you may not know why you associate with the people you do and you may not recognize the influence they may be having on your life. A shared history is meaningless if you’re moving in opposite directions. You are who you associate with. So, who are you?