You are the company you keep

I kept thinking that peer pressure and negative influence does not apply to adults because we all know who we are and where we are going right? And I realised that in fact adults are just as susceptible to bad influences as children are if we don’t watch what we do and every step that we take or who we associate ourselves with on a daily basis. So I ask the question: Who are you spending most of your time with?

Every single day of our lives gives us an opportunity to learn something about life from the people we associate with. We learn a lot from someone by just listening to what they say and do. In life if you want to be successful, then the key is to be aware of the people you surround yourself with. Look carefully to see if your current associates and “friends” are people that will really be those that will help you get to the level that you want to get to. Do your associates and friends push you forward and edify your mind or do you find yourself thinking and behaving in ways that are sometimes confusing to even you? Or whenever you come to them with new ideas do they encourage you or do they tell you that what you have in mind won’t work and are always naysayers in your life when it comes to your hopes and dreams?

The old sayings “birds of a feather flock together” and “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are” ring true on so many levels. Even if we have not taken on all of these friends’ and associates’ ideologies or the like, sometimes we can become unrecognisable to ourselves, friends and loved ones because of behaviour change or adopting their value system.

Whether you want it or not, oftentimes this is how it works. On a personal note I found myself “a self proclaimed non cusser”, using words that I didn’t even know that I knew after hanging out with a person who used that language quite frequently. My friends, family and even my own children were all bewildered when they heard me say certain phrases and eventually started to point out to me how my vocabulary had changed. Mind you other people were still doing it and not getting any concern but since it was so out of character to me, it caused an alarm within my network. At that time I honestly and earnestly had to look at myself to see what had happened and identify that my new associations were the culprit and instead of me influencing them, they had begun to influence me and since I was not comfortable with that new change, I had to take steps to correct it.

It is said that the people you spend the most time with make you and you sadly become their average so maybe it is time to start looking at the close associates to decide whether we want to be the average of them or not. We need to spend time with the people that can help us reach our goals, challenge us to be better than we ever had been and bring the best of everything out in us.

Life is a journey. It is a never ending balance to always stay on course with the right friends, associates, and influences. We never stop learning as long as we are on the road of life. So isn’t it best to travel with the right people that can make us better than we could have ever imagined?

And tell me how your week is going at [email protected]

Catherine Tyson is the author of I’m Somebody’s Mama and host of the Lighten Up Show With Catherine Tyson on Cayman 27.

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