“You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay? Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” ~ Jim Rohn …
Because “our lives do not get better by chance, they get better by change,” it is important that we truly understand that we are the sculptors of our lives–we determine who we are, how we see ourselves, and how others see us. And to do that, we must be painfully aware of who we surround ourselves with and what we allow into our hearts and minds. This is a prerequisite to personal growth and fulfillment and it is the only path that can lead us to a meaningful and purpose-driven life.
Perhaps it seems awkward to evaluate how our family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances affect us. It might even appear judgmental at times, as if we are not being fair and letting others explain to us their thoughts, feelings, and reasoning. But it is not; and it is far more harmful to allow others to negatively affect our lives or to idly sit by and watch those we love fall victim to those they hang around with. If we permit ourselves to look at our lives and our situations objectively–from the vantage point of our heart–we can find honest and helpful answers to the questions that Jim poses to us above.
How are the people in your life affecting you and the person you are becoming? If you spend another ten years with the same individuals, where will you be? More importantly, who will you be? If that person is a better version of you–more loving, compassionate, kind, forgiving, humble, sharing, and wise–then you are on the right track. If not, well then perhaps it is time for you to change company and part ways from such individuals. Of course, if you love and care for these individuals, you must do everything in your power to guide them out of their own destructive ways and help them to make healthy changes in their lives that will add purpose and meaning to them, and enrich them in positive ways, as not doing so will inevitably bring you regrets. But at the same time, you have to secure your own happiness and fulfillment in life as well. In addition, others need you to be the best version of you possible so that you can contribute to the world in ways that only you have the unique ability to, and you cannot do that very effectively when you are not at your best.
Surround yourself by those who bring out the best in you.
Questions to consider:
Do you allow others to bring you down regularly? If so, how?
Why do we often hold on to the destructive friendships in our lives? What are the results of doing so without awareness or concern for ourselves and our lives?
Who are some individuals who have the greatest positive effects on you? In what ways do you nurture those relationships?
For further thought:
“Bad company corrupts good character.” ~ Menander of Athens