What difference does it make who I choose as a friend?
Some time ago, I realized that the people I spend my time with directly impact my capacity for success. It is a simple principle in life: you become like the people you spend your time with. There’s no getting around it.The time you spend with your friends is like plugging into some social network and downloading operating software onto your brain. This can be great or it can be dangerous.
Being around good people doesn’t necessarily make me good, but it certainly doesn’t hurt my chances. I have surrounded myself with the kind of people I want to be like. They are people I absolutely love to be with (they are hilarious, interesting, and fun). They always bring out the best in me. They care about what happens to me. And they accept me for who I am while encouraging me to be my best. In fact, they refuse to accept anything less than my best.
How can you tell if you have good friends? There are many signs that you can look for.
Here are a few:
- Are they successful? In other words, do they pass school or fail? If they are successful in life, that’s a good sign.
- Do they know how to have fun without hurting themselves or the people around them? Do the risks they take outweigh the fun they have? If you find yourself getting into trouble when you hang out, that’s not good. If your friends inspire you to ditch classes and ignore your parents, something is wrong.
- Are they consistent and committed? If your friends are only around when you are an easy person to be friends with, they aren’t your friends at all. Get new ones.
- Consider what your friends bring to the table. Do they suck you dry, mooching off you emotionally or physically? Do they take without giving? This principle is easy to discern. Relationships are two-way streets: there should be good traffic moving in both directions.
- Check out their ambitions. Every living person on the planet is moving in a particular direction, you can see where someone is headed by looking at the trail they leave behind.
If someone has a history of jumping from group to group, from friend to friend, then chances are they will not be loyal to you either. If a boy will cheat on his girlfriend to be with you, he will most likely cheat on you to be with someone else. Or if a girl talks to you about another girl, than be assured she will talk about you.If someone has a history of failing, whether it is in school, at work, or in relationships, it only makes sense that they will continue to fail in the bigger picture: life. You can learn that pattern.
It can be difficult to tell yourself the truth, but we are talking about life here. We are talking about something more significant than what you’ll do this weekend. The friends around you should act as road signs: they’ll show you where you’re heading. Be honest with yourself. You alone are responsible for where you end up. If you don’t like where this carpool is going, get out of the car.
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