“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” – Karl Marx
It is a worthwhile exercise to analyse the influences that impact our life. Our station in life is the results of the decisions we make and the influences in our life.
As I approach 60, I reflect on my life and I realize there are lots of lessons to be learned.
My family has played a vital role in shaping me. I consider myself lucky to have great parents and siblings. I am also blessed with a supportive wife and two great sons who are the joys of my life.
Education plays a big role in shaping me. I am fortunate to have a tertiary education. And the lessons from the University of Hard Knocks may have been very painful but they have made me a better person.
Friends have a great influence on us. Don’t brag about having lots of friends. Be honest with yourself. Are your friends really friends? You may have 5,000 friends on Facebook but I am sure most of them are not even friends at all. It may be painful to admit but the reality is that most of our friends are only sunny day friends. When you are faced with difficulties in your life, it is the time that you will know who your true friends are.
To find the friends who will be there for you come sunny or rainy days, you first need to be that friend to others. I’ve found that the most genuine friends in my life are the first to offer help, are willing to listen and will rejoice in my success. So I have always striven to be such a friend to others.
So choose your friends wisely. Try to hang around with friends who have a positive influence in your life. If you always hang around with negative people, you risk being poisoned with negativity and having your dreams being sabotaged.
In my life journey, I have met with my fair share of negative people. More than two decades ago, I had a friend whom I spent quite a lot of time with. I naively trusted him as he was the husband of the form teacher of one of my sons. Suffice to say that he caused me a lot of problems and disappointments. I learned from friends later that he was a bit like a conman who had defrauded quite a number of people. And I had two ex-colleagues who stabbed me in the back though I had always been helpful and kind to them.
Do you have friends who love to pour cold water on everything you do? I do. Every time I venture into something, they will always be a wet blanket. Even before I truly begin on my new venture, they try to drag me down with their callous remarks and negativity. What they say, how they act, think and behave can have a massive impact on my mood, what I become and even how I act and think. So in their presence, I always try to ignore what they say. If possible, steer clear from negative people because they will drag you down, drain you of your energy and convince you to give up on your goals. Some people are even jealous, deep down they don’t want you to move forward. If anybody tries to pull you backwards, ditch them because any real friend would encourage and support you.
Instead surround yourself with positive people who encourage you. Positivity is contagious and the more you surround yourself with positive minded people, the more you will develop their optimistic outlook on life as you start to develop more positive ways of thinking and better ways of perceiving the world. Their positive and vibrant energy can rub off on you, their enthusiasm can energize you, motivate you, empower you and inspire you
Have you seen those geese fly in V-shape formations? They fly hundreds of miles. And they’re always making those noises at each other as a way of encouraging each other. When the one leading the flock gets weary, it let others take over. Those are the types of friends you want.