It is a commonly purported in self development books that you can very accurately gauge one’s life by looking at their five closest friends, and that is absolutely true. You may say duh that is obvious. But if we all truly understand the power others have to shape our lives do we then deliberately and actively choose and foster the correct relationships? If you are anyhow similar to myself then you most likely automatically just followed the path of least resistance to choose who you surround yourselves.
However, if you want to achieve your full potential you can’t do this. Why is it so important that you are judicious in how you spend your time with others? It’s because the more time you spend with people, the more your mannerisms, habits and even brain waves become entrained. This can either be a good or bad thing. However, if you are not actively choosing to surround yourselves with people that support you and foster your development they are most likely dragging you down.
You may deem, wow this guy is an absolutely snob. That is not the point I am trying to make. This post was motivated by a recent experience dealing with some negative feelings associated with someone close to me hurting me. However, this time I was able to take a big step forward and not let the negative feelings drag me down. I learned to embrace these negative feelings as I described here and counteracted my body’s physical reaction to the emotional pain by walking and opening up my heart. Depression is called depression for a reason, it is an actual depression of both your emotions and your body. The easiest way to combat your negative feelings is to change your body language. There is no way you can be depressed when you are walking tall with chin up high and shoulders back.
So do NOT get me wrong, if someone is consistently hurting you, displaying low character traits and overall spewing negative energy towards you and making no effort to change you absolutely should NOT passively accept this. You need to cut these people out from your life. But there is no reason to be malicious or wish ill will to these people. Just kindly stop interacting with them, and if the continue to persist let them know that you need some time apart and explain as diplomatically as possible that you are on a journey in which there is no space for them.
It is a simple concept but much harder to apply in real world for two primary reasons.
1) People like to avoid uncomfortable and confrontational situations at all this costs: This is something we can all (myself included) actively work on improving. If we want the power to live the life of our dreams we need to do the thing that frightens us the most even if we deem we are not ready to approach the challenge. Fear is the number one thing that prevents people from fully giving their true gift to the world. That is why the graveyard is the most rich land in the entire world. It houses untold fortunes, ideas, and innovations that never saw the light of day because they were obscured by fear. I make it a daily practice to try and always do at least one thing a day that sends a shiver down my spine and gets my heart beat racing.
2) People want to change the world by changing external situations: Gandhi said it best, you need to become the best version of yourself so that you are able to best help improve this world and help others. However, it is too common in today’s age when you view a negative trait in someone else to try and “fix” them. That is the worst thing you could do.Usually when you view a negative trait in someone else it is usually the world telling you that you need to improve in that area. The world acts as you mirror and returns to you what you emit in terms of your thoughts, emotions and feelings.
It is undoubtedly hard to take the first step forward in becoming the best that you can be, by cutting people out who bring you down, but it is absolutely essential. You may say it is easier said than done, and it’s too hard. But its supposed to be hard! If it were not hard then no growth would occur. Every situation in your life is exactly what you need to experience to become the best version of yourself. Enjoy the struggle as it is allowing you to transform and evolve to your highest level.
But before I end this article I need to discuss one caveat about this concept. Just because someone is family, or you have extended/long-term relationship does not preclude them from this rule. Just because you have shared blood, genes or a bed with someone does NOT mean that they should be able to act without consequences. The exact opposite is true with strangers. Just because you are NOT familiar with them does not mean you should not afford them the same respects you would a family member. Everyone is fundamentally the same. A saying I enjoy is, “strangers are just friends you do not know yet.” So the key is to NOT place any value judgements or wish ill will to others but to surround yourselves with people that fill your heart up with joy. Just like I mentioned in a previous post about how you should focus on what healthy and nutritious foods you can include in your diet, the exact same is true for the people you let into your life.
I hope this post helped elucidate the absolute importance about deliberating choosing who and how you spend your time with others to ensure that you are able to reach your full potential so that you can give your full gift to this world. In addition, the importance of analyzing how everyone is effecting your life, and taking the appropriate action to ensure that you are surrounding yourselves with people who fill your life with joy and happiness so that you do not leave space for people who bring you down may be one of the most important things you do in your life. Life is to short to be in the company of unhappy and negative people.