This morning I came along a quote that struck a similar chord:
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly, be that kind of a friend for your friends.”
- Mark Twain
I read the quote a few times and realized what a deep connection it has to achieving goals of everyday life. Whether the goals are related to fitness, healthy living, career, relationships, hobbies or anything else, this quote absolutely applies. I think we all, at times, underestimate or disregard how much influence those around us have on our everyday decisions and goal achievement. At first thought, you might think your friends’ unhealthy eating habits, frequent partying or disregard to their career won’t affect you and your journey. You may have the willpower and resolve to politely decline invitations to party or hit up happy hour after work in favor of putting in extra time at the office or getting to the gym. But, truthfully, how long can that endure? When you DO see these friends, will you have much to talk about? I believe that friends truly bond through shared experience. Some of my best friends are such because we have shared many funny/scary/crazy/difficult experiences together. Additionally, will the peer pressure eventually wear you down and encourage you to make decisions that counter the progress made toward your goals? Will you forever be able to say “no, thank you” to a table full of nachos, beer, and buffalo wings every time you go out? Or will you eventually give in? Will you take smart risks in your career which may involve travel, relocating, or spending many more hours at work to get ahead when you’re surrounded by folks who aren’t career-driven and have no interest in becoming successful?
Most importantly, the people in my life (friends, family, colleagues) offer me support that helps me on the days I’m just not feelin’ it. My friends are there to remind me that I need to keep taking steps toward my career goals, personal goals, and more. They do so by exhibiting the same drive, persistence and positive mindset I try to maintain every day. When one of us is feeling down, the others are there in support. I can not imagine my life without my friends and family being there for me. They also do so by applauding me in my successes and helping me to see the lessons in the setbacks. Simply being in their presence helps me to stay focused, driven and on track with my goals.
Mark Twain was onto something BIG when he said that quote….I think one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is the presence of amazing people in our lives. Family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, teammates; each person you associate with should bring a bit of positive energy into your life. So go ahead, read Mark Twain’s quote a few more times and let it sink in. Think about the people you have the most face-time with: are they supportive and motivating?