We do this on Facebook all the time. The list of Friends and acquaintances grows to a point of being unmanageable and we trim the list down, but do we do this in real life? I was reading an article by Robert Pagliarini and realized that a good chunk of what keeps each of us complacent and avoiding success is in the company that we keep. Now I am not suggesting for a second that you become a lone wolf on the prowl but it does become important to look at who you consider your friend…and just what influence they have over you.
The reality is that the friends that you keep have either a negative or positive impact on your life in the ways that they help to shape your outlook, your values and also your emotions and behaviors. We all struggle with the concept of what Success is and what tomorrow will bring and it is far to easy to be pulled down by a friend who does not share your desire for Success.
We emulate what we spend the most time with, if we hang out with rich, powerful, intelligent, fit and happy friends…there is a natural tendency to achieve those attributes ourselves. The same can be said spending our time with broke, dumb, fat whiners who do nothing but complain…chances are if the bulk of your friends are in the latter category you are going to have a far more difficult time achieving what you want out of life as you will have to fight against the current that is their negativity.
This effort is known in psychological circles as Social Contagion and it does mean that the responsibility of each of us to find our own path to success must first start with the company we keep. A good place to start is with Facebook…trim down your list, focus on those people who will impact your life in a positive way, even if it is an old friend who was destined for greatness back in the day…reconnect in a real way…see if they achieved what they started out to gain.
When you move into real life, the challenge is that these are real people, not just names and avatars on a Social Media Website. The “Delisting” may need to be gradual but if you are to live a richer, happier, more fulfilled and yes more successful then it might just mean dumping your best friend, neighbor or even your own mother if their negative influence will prevent you from achieving what you want out of life.
Once the great cleansing is underway you need to locate, connect with and focus on Positive Influences. Find friends that will lift you up, give you an energy boost, make you want to be a better person, are a source of inspiration and at the end of the day make you feel like you have achieved something more than what you thought was possible. These new friends don’t need to be the raw raw sis boom bah kind of people but the do need to be supportive and focus on your motivation as it is a source of motivation for them. This in turn will open yourself up to others who are looking to engage and find your positivity.
For me…I take friendship pretty seriously. My life is really all about checks and balances. I don’t have people over to visit and I rarely go to visit people (unless of course their computer is broken). It is not that I am anti-social, I used to have a great network of friends but then we moved away and well in many ways I feel that replacing them would mean that I no longer respect the friendship that I had with them. While I don’t have “friends”, I do have many colleagues and acquaintances…and these are looked at closely and pruned carefully to ensure that my own success is not negatively impacted by their actions. Maybe I will find a new buddy to hang out with, drink beer and watch hockey with but until that day comes…well I have all of you!
Chris J Powell