Once, many years ago I was talking to a man that I considered to be a mentor to me, and many others. He had lived a rough, tough life, he had been busted and disgusted and broke as a joke many a time. Now he was through those storms, and was living a much better life. He had a great family, solid income and he was just good people in general.
We were talking about my life and I began telling the many stories and tragedies that I had so well memorized and embedded in my soul for such a time as this. Shortly into my presentation, he politely interrupted me and asked me two questions;
1- Tell me about the blessings in your life, the good things.
2- Who are your closest friends, people you spend the most time with?
Slightly confused, I asked him what these questions had to do with our conversation. He responded something like this ” It is all I need to know “. So I fumbled and stumbled before finally coming up with something good; ” I got a couple kids “. Then he pushed me for the names of the people I hang out with.
WHOA! Now he was getting a little personal!
After a few minutes sharing who I hung out with and what their lives were like, he made a statement to me that has stuck with me. He said ” I don’t really care about what you tell me, all I need to know is who you consider friends in order to determine who you are ”
He had some nerve. I mean who cares who I hang out with, and how could he determine anything about me from who I hang out with? I felt like saying ” I hang out with NUNNYA”- meaning NUNNYA business! I could not speak to him like that so I obliged and we discussed my posse for awhile.
He shared with me a story from his career in law enforcement, I think FBI or similar. He said whenever he wanted lots of information on someone, he would go meet his group of friends, sometimes never even meeting the person he wanted to know about. He said he was not meeting the friends for them to TELL him how the person was. He got his impressions from the people themselves, and gathered a profile of the person of interest from the type of people he spent time with.
I got his point…about 3 years later. I began to wonder why I was stuck in a rut. I did an inventory of who I spent time with and found out that they were composed of the following;
1- A dream killer
2- A Lazy person
3- A complainer
4- Another complainer
5- A hard worker
Needless to say, I realized I was not going to get anywhere in life by surrounding myself with average people. They were nice people, but average achievers. I needed to put myself around people that I dreamed of being like. People I looked up to. That was what the man was trying to tell me. Since that time I try to position myself around those I desire to be like, and it feels good. Put yourself around those people that will lift you up, not pull you down. You know who they are, and the ball is in your court. To some extent, you determine what you will become by who it is you have in your circle. Something to think about!