“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?."
— Jim Rohn
[Classic post from 12-26-09]
Excellent questions. The people around us will always have an influence. The question is what kind of influence? Of course, that question does go both ways, doesn't it?
Being around people who are always complaining, talking down about things, and just generally disagreeable has an effect on me. After a time, I start talking like them and even thinking like them, then I am them. I don't really want that though! As a result of wanting more for myself than this, I have stayed away from people who have that disposition. I want to be around uplifting, encouraging, and exciting people. It is so much better! It is so much more productive as well.
When I first started out in sales at a car dealership at age 22. I used to hang out with the guys and just talk about stuff. It was pretty ugly. I learned to use the f-word in just about every sentence as an adjective, a noun, an expletive, a pronoun, virtually every way possible. Once I realized how ingrained it had become, it was a challenge to get rid of it. Now I say it less in a whole year than I used to in a paragraph. That's how powerful an effect people can have on you and not even see it immediately. You just want to be one of the guys. No problem. Choose the guys wisely.
Who do they have me reading? In the past, it would have been the newspaper, and sports magazines, but certainly not books and certainly not non-fiction books. Being in sales there would be a great need to read about how to be good at that and get better. I wanted more, so I had to move away and go it alone.
What do they have me thinking? Well, you can tell by the last two paragraphs that it wasn't exactly inspiring. It was fun for a while until the jokes got too bold, but I started seeing no value in being in this group. I wanted more.
So, the most important question was, “was this okay?" It was not. I wanted more. That is really the key right there: I wanted more. When you want more, you go where you need to go and find new friends, or even go it alone for a time to get there.
People absolutely have an effect on us. Who do we want to emulate? If not them, I will be moving on to find those that I do want to emulate.
I Choose Good Questions!
Spread Some Joy Today–Make a list of great questions to periodically ask yourself. Then ask them. Here's a good one to ask your real friends: Have I told you I love you lately?