I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want next year to be better than the last. Let’s talk about what’s holding us back from reaching our full potential in our finances, careers, dreams and relationships.
And speaking of relationships, there’s a popular saying that goes:
“the sum of who you are is evident by your 5 closest friends”.
Remember as a kid or a teenager wanting to do something your friends were doing SO BAD you could just cry? If you’re like me, you did cry in front of your parents or grandparents as you were begging to do something other kids could do but you weren’t allowed to.
Maybe your thirteen-year-old friends were wearing makeup and you weren’t allowed to even touch the stuff until you turned sixteen. Or your friends were allowed to go on a weekend trip without chaperones while for you adult supervision was mandatory…
It’s real: whatever your friends (or peers) were doing, you wanted to do it, too.
During many of these occasions, I remember hearing my mother and grandmother tell me these oldie- but-goodie cliche’s:
“if your friends were all jumping off the Brooklyn bridge, would you do that too?”
“Bad company corrupts good character.”
I rolled my eyes. Parents [and grandparents] just don’t understand.
I thought, how ridiculous. What did something as insane as me jumping off a bridge have to do with [just fill in the blank on what I wanted to do].
Now, years later, I see the wisdom in what mom and grandma were saying.
Which brings me to today’s topic.
Reflecting back on my life, hindsight is the usual 20/20. I can see clearly now the common denominator in my successes- and especially my failures. That X factor is the people I had around me.
It isn’t easy to reflect when your life hasn’t exactly turned out as planned. It’s even worse when you didn’t have any specific plans to begin with. In this scenario, life can feel like one big, gut-wrenching epic fail you can do nothing about but regret.
Which is why my mother and grandmother chided me as a preteen on the bridge thing. They knew the importance of the kind of people you associated with and the impact it would have on one’s future. I just wanted to fit in, to feel normal. At that age, following your own path can seem so lonely. Without having friends and social acceptance, you didn’t feel valuable. Life just didn’t seem worth living.
So you live, hopefully you learn. I learned that it’s better to walk alone than to jump off the bridge with a group of people around you.
But the even bigger lesson is the importance of who you have around you in the first place.
What mom and grandma never told me was that if I had the right people in my cipher, I would never be on the bridge in the first place. And with the right people close to me, I would own the bridge. Or build one myself.
The reality is that human beings are innately social creatures. We are naturally influenced by the people around us-especially those we spend the most time with.
But that isn’t the problem. The problem is we usually have the wrong people around us.
It doesn’t matter if these people are friend or foe. Who you have around you infects your thinking, your decisions and your behavior.
It makes sense. Birds of a feather flock together.
Which supports the importance of choosing your inner circle of friends and associates wisely.
Here are six types of people you MUST have in your inner circle for success in 2015:
1. Dreamers. If you have big dreams that you want to make a reality, hang around people with the same desire and openness to what may seem like pie-in-the-sky impossibilities. I share more about “realistic” dreaming in my “Is achieving ANY dream really possible?” article, If your closest confidants think “inside the box” while you’re always “thinking outside the box”, they will not be supportive of what they deem to be lofty ambitions due to their own limited thinking. This can stifle your progress-and if you hang out with these folks long enough, will kill your chances of making it altogether.
2. Yes-men. No, these yes men-or yes women- aren’t the ones who tell you want you want to hear. They’re the ones who say yes to what’s possible. They say yes to success. They say yes to big dreams. They say yes when you need advice or a ride from the airport. And even more, they say yes more than they offer excuses. You can call them the “glass half-full” people or hopeless optimists. But these are the people whose energy inspires you to become greater just by being around them on a regular basis.
3. Full of integrity. If you want to succeed in 2015, you’ll want people close to you to be individuals with intergrity. If they say they’ll be there at 8, they’re there. If they say your secret is safe with them, it is. You want people around you who are who they say they are when the rubber hits the road. It’s excruciating to be the only one in the group who is reliable and trustworthy. Everyone else becomes more of a parasite once that dynamic exists and you’ll end up being the one who constantly bails everyone else out from being selfish or irresponsible. This will drain you and suck your life force energy. Once that happens, all you can do is just survive and keep your head above water. Kiss an awesome 2015 goodbye.
4. Achievers. Hang around people you admire. These go-getters make things happen. They wanted a business, they now own one. They wanted to get in shape, now they have a personal trainer and work out several days a week. They wanted to get out of debt and get rich, the money is flowing. You want things to happen, do yourself a favor and hang out with people who get it done and whose actions challenge you to take it to the next level.
5. The Grateful Living. Hang out with people who speak gratitude and appreciation regularly and you’ll see how it rubs off on you, too. Naggy, whiny, complainers are not people you want to continue associating with in 2015. Their negative energy will bring you down and in order to maintain a relationship with them you must be negative too. Otherwise your gratitude “half-glass full” outlook will annoy them.
6. Like-minded individuals. You must hang around people who think like you do. If you are an entrepreneur, hang around entrepreneurs. If you’re in college working toward a degree, hang with other people serious about school or finds the value in it. If you’re artistic, have at least an artsy friend. Whatever matters most to you should be supported and reinforced by your five closest friends. If you are a hard-working entrepreneur trying to build a business, then having close friends who spend their days watching reality tv shows is a sure way to not reach your goals. Do you want to live your best life despite your friends or in part because of them?
Banksloveme.com is serious about 2015 being a year of personal empowerment related to personal finance and success. Visit our home page or blog for more great information to help you live the life you deserve.