The excerpt below isn't just for my fellow authors and writers - it's for everyone! Association is a very powerful thing.
Adapted from "Overcoming Obastacles with SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting."
Our associations affect our behavior and mental state far more than we realize. People tend to take on the attributes of those around them, for better or for worse. The secret is to form associations that are a positive influence on our lives and not a negative drain.
Creatures of habit, we are drawn to familiar territory. We seek those who match our moral standards, economic status, and ambition levels. Consider those within our own circle of influence and we will discover they are our associates because we are comfortable in their presence. Occasionally we will be forced to stretch or shrink to fit our environment. Like the chameleon, we change our colors just enough to blend.
Our associations determine our placement in life. We will never outgrow our surroundings. The goldfish in a small fishbowl will only grow so large, but place him in a twenty-gallon tank and his size will increase to match his living quarters. Our associations influence us much like the goldfish’s tank, either by encouraging or restricting our growth.
Now, I am not suggesting that we need to make all new friends. (And we certainly cannot trade in our family members, no matter how hard we try!) However, if we possess far more drive and ambition than our circle of influence, then that is a problem. We must have someone who will push us to greater heights. The tennis player who can beat everyone at the country club will never improve further until he plays outside of this small group. We must also step outside of our comfort zones if we expect to achieve more and grow as individuals.
Separate from those who wallow in mediocrity. Avoid individuals who possess negative attitudes and aren’t afraid to show it. Place distance from those with potentially destructive behaviors and habits. Retreat from the underachievers and pessimists in life. Not only will these types of people hinder our efforts to grow and succeed, they will also resent our ambition and attempt to dampen our spirits. We do not need friends like that in our corner.
Instead, seek individuals who are actively pursuing ambitions and goals. Befriend those possessing a positive attitude and are moving forward in life or already possess a measure of success. They will encourage and stretch us. It is likely they will be in a position where they can apply direct influence as well. Certainly, they will be more willing to offer advice and help us achieve your goals.
Associations are incredibly important and can determine our success or failure in life. Do not allow personal contacts to influence or control our life in a negative manner. Surround ourselves with successful encouragers and watch our world be forever transformed!
- L. Diane Wolfe
Take a good look at your associations. Are they positive? Are they encouraging? Do they need to change? Do you need new relatives?