Your mother was right to worry about who you were hanging out with as a child.
Now that you’re an adult, the worrying, however, shouldn’t stop. It is up to you to worry about who you are hanging out with. The people we choose to associate with have a strong influence on our attitudes, drive, and success.
You might like to think you are immune to external influence and that your iron will allows you to freely march to the beat of your own drum whenever you so choose… but you’re wrong.
Peer Pressure Is A Bitch
Ever adopted a new diet and then gone out with a group of friends who aren’t working towards your same goal of personal betterment? If you have, then you know the difficulty of sticking to a new habit that has yet to establish firm roots.
“Oh, come on. Take the night off. We’re out having fun. Enjoy yourself. One meal isn’t going to kill you. Just start back strong tomorrow.”
Peer pressure is a bitch.
What do you want in life? What are you working towards? What changes are you trying to make?
If you are not seeking forward progress and development in your life, please leave. Yes, leave this site and go waste your time watching videos of cats or people getting hit in the nuts.
If you want to be a better person, stay. I’m by no means perfect. I have a ton of things I am trying to improve upon and I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes. Together, however, we can move forward and improve our lives and the world around us. First, lets improve our friends – sort of.
Who Are Your Friends?
Who do you hang out with? Who are the people you interact with on a day to day basis? Make a list.
Co-workers. Friends. Family. Write out the names of the people that are in your life. The people who are influencing you.
Don’t only list the people you see everyday but also include the people you interact with online. The friends that populate your social media feeds.
With your list of people, start putting checks next to the people who are supporting you and your life goals, mission, objectives (you’ll of course need a good sense of what these are).
The people who weigh you down, bring you done, and are just crappy people: they get an X.
Jolly Old St. Nick
Now you’ve made your naughty and nice list. Feel free to forward it on to the North Pole if you so choose.
What do you do now? Keep your checkmarks close and distance yourself from the your X’s. Yes, I really do mean this.
“But, I just can’t avoid people in my life!” you say.
Yes, some people might be hard to avoid: co-workers, family members. You seem to get stuck with those. While you can’t easily get a new family, you can get new co-workers. Yes, you can (and probably should) get a new job if your list of X’s is populated by the people you spend 40 hours a week with.
‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ Jim Rohn
Make sure those five people are awesome amazing people that you look up to! Make sure that they have the same drive for self-improvement that you do. Make sure that they are there to support you, hold you up when you need it, and aren’t afraid to give you a kick in the butt when your motivation hits a lull.
Spend a lot of your time on social media? You should probably spend less, yet if you are going to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like make sure that you’re feeding yourself with content that is going to uplift you and keep you moving towards to your “definite chief aim” – Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success.
“My Friends Suck…”
Maybe you’re list is covered in X’s- and if so, your friends suck. The first step is admitting that you have a problem.
“My name is John Doe, and I have shitty friends.”
“Hi, John Doe. Welcome.”
You’ve taken the first step. Congratulations! Now, step two: find new people to surround yourself with.
With every passing year, however, I find it harder and harder to meet new people. In school it is pretty easy- you group up with your classmates. At work, you go get drinks with your co-workers. Relationships grow and friends are made.
Although, if you’re looking for new people in your life, you are likely going to have to change your environment in order to find new friends.
On The Market For New Friends
What is the best way to meet new people? Go get involved in your community. If the relationships you currently have in your life aren’t positive, you’re going to need to shake your life up a bit to find new people. Getting involved in your community is a great start.
Find an organization that speaks to your interests. For me, I am interested in sustainable living and the environment.
How do you find new people to meet up with? Well, some genius entrepreneur already blazed that path and created a website just for such a need: meetup.com.
If you are like me and want to find like minded eco-interested individuals, I would see if there is a Green Drinks in your area.
Every month people who work in the environmental field meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks… Come along and you’ll be made welcome. – Green Drinks
Green Drinks is geared towards eco-professionals, but welcomes any and everyone. Go meet new people and find out what organizations they are working with.
Multiply The Good In Your Life
“True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.” – Baltasar Gracian
Have you spent more time picking your fantasy team than your team of friends? In the long run, one group of people is going to be more important to you – hint, its not your fantasy team.
Yes, great and amazing friendships can find their way into our lives with no notable conscious effort at all but sometimes we need to reflect on the relationships we have.
Be a little selfish. You should think of your life as special and a think of it as a privilege to be included in your life.