Monday, August 27, 2007

The Success Principles ~ Principle 25

The 25th success principle is drop out of the "ain't it awful club" and surround yourself with successful people. At the core of this principle is the belief that you become like the people you spend the most time with. That belief leads to a 2-prong strategy: eliminate the negative and expand the positive.

First, the negative. Okay, I've been here, and I bet you've been here. You're in a tough situation, maybe work sucks, and you spend a lot of time with your friends, colleagues, family going over every bad decision your boss has made, every inhuman strategy the company has developed, the curt attitude of a client, the thoughtless comment of a colleague, the callous behaviour of a friend. Now, I think we all need to let off some steam sometimes. But when it becomes a regular behaviour, it can become a little self-justification party, reinforcing all the reasons why it sucks, why you're not responsible for the fact that it sucks, and btw, it's never going to change. How depressing!

Jack Canfield recommends that we create a list of all the people that we hang out with the most and ask ourselves are they a positive or negative influence in our lives? If the latter, it's time to stop hanging out with them. Create some boundaries and simply don't spend time with people who bring you down. And you know, as you start to change, grow and find your joy, there will be lots of opportunity to practice this principle. Perhaps you've experienced this already. You start to make changes and your regular cohorts start undermining your success, criticizing your choices, sympathetically urging you not to get hurt by going out on a limb, inviting you to have just one more donut, beer, cigarette. People who don't want to change will encourage you to stay the same. When you change your life, you let them know it's possible. And some people don't want to know. Don't let that stop you.

Instead, spend more time with the people you find uplifting, inspiring and fun. Look for people that you admire and who are successful in the way you want to be and ask them how they've done it. Learn from them. Canfield even recommends trying on some of their behaviours - read what they're reading, try doing what they're doing. If it doesn't work for you, let it go and try something new. It is possible to change. Yes, it takes energy, strength and often a whole whack of courage but becoming who you are meant to be is worth it and you can do it. I know you can.

Note: Both pictures are of the same cat. This sphynx was a competitor in the CNE cat show yesterday. When in the cage, she complained like crazy, bit the bars, stuck her head out between them. When the judge allowed the owner to hold her in his arms instead, she immediately turned into this gentle and content creature. Amazing.


Leah said...

it's sometimes hard to stop hanging out with people who are a negative influence. i have started doing this in my own life and sometimes feel badly about suddenly abandoning someone. do you tell someone why you're not hanging out with them anymore? it's sort of like breaking up!

heh, the kitty is so cute! i don't blame her for being upset in that cage! :-)

Melanie Margaret said...

I agree. I try to surround myself with positive people.

But I was wondering if he says anything about people you really can't phase out of your life like family.

When I know I am going to interact with a negative person I first prepare myself with a little prayer and then try to steer away from topics that usually cause friction.