“If you want to fly with the eagles don’t swim with the ducks.” I bet you have heard this quote before. You become who you surround yourself with most of the time. And if you want to be positive, happy, and achieve greater success in life, who you mix with most of the time plays an important role.
It is easy to understand that we will be influenced by the people around us, especially those that are closed with us.
According to Nicholas Christakis, an American sociologist and physician known for his work on social networks once done a research about influence from others.
In one of his studies, he said that non-drinkers who spend time with people who drink significantly increase their chances of becoming drinkers themselves.
“People were 50 percent more likely to be heavy drinkers if one of their friends or relatives drank heavily. However, if a friend-of-a-friend drank heavily, people were only 36 percent more likely to do so, and if a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend drank heavily, they were 15 percent more likely to do so.”
Jim Rohn was right when he famously said:
We simply become like the people we surround ourselves with most of the time.
Think about it, if you want to start saving by cutting down your expenses, but if you mix with people who are not thrifty and who simply spend on things, highly likely, you will not reach your goal.
For instance, when you decided to cut down your expenses on coffees, and when you go out with a bunch of friends, and all of them wanted to go to Starbucks for a drink and a cake, what will you do?
Of course, you follow. And will you just sit in Starbucks and ordered nothing? Will you just sit there watching your friends eating and drinking and all you do is talking to them?
Not likely. Chances are, you’re going to buy yourself a cup of coffee too. So that you look “fit in”, right?
Please understand that this is just an example of how the people you surround with can influence your thinking and decision.
What if everyone you surround yourself with is using the latest smartphone? What if they are all smokers?
Can you see how this can influence and impact your life?
Therefore, if you want to be successful and always stay positive, surround yourself with people who are positive and successful.
Here are 5 great ways how you can surround yourself with positive and successful people:
1. Cut down time spend with negative people
The first thing you can do is to cut down your time spent with negative people or people who are not supportive of your goals and dreams.
When you cut down your time spent with negative people, you automatically give yourself more time to mix with the right and positive people.
Just like if you want to lose weight, the first thing you can do is to stop eating junk food.
The key is how do you identify negative people? How can you tell if someone is negative or positive?
Read this article from Lifehack.org to discover the 15 signs of negative people. Some of the signs include:
- Negative people always worry.
- They are pessimists and always imagine that everything goes wrong.
- They complain and whine a lot.
- They never want to move outside their comfort zone.
- They are underachievers.
Thus, identify the negative people who are sucking the energy out of your life, and then cut down your time spent with them.
When you spend less time with negative people, you create more chance to surround yourself with positive people.
2. Identify the people who you want to mix with
Yes, you have to identify who you want to mix with and then put in the effort to surround yourself with those people.
Of course, networking and making friends can happen naturally, but sometimes, especially when you want to surround yourself with the right people, you must make the effort.
You must purposefully go and make friends with positive people.
Thus, identify the people who you want to become like and then make the conscious effort to get to know them.
Below are some of the traits of a positive person:
- Positive people don’t just have a good day, they make a good day.
- They don’t dwell in the past.
- They are always grateful for even the smallest things.
- They feel energized and excited for challenges they face and are not stuck with limitations.
- They are always happy and they smile a lot.
3. Find a common ground
It may be difficult to break the ice and get to know someone unless you both share a common ground.
You must define who you consider positive and successful. Everyone’s definition is different.
For some people, being positive means people who are happy and laugh a lot. And for others, positive means people who are successful in their career and business.
When you clearly define and identify who are the positive people that you want to surround yourself with, it becomes clear and easier for you to find a common ground to build the relationship.
For example, if you want to surround yourself with positive people in the blogging industry, the common ground, or the shared interest that you can build the relationship upon is blogging.
You can then build and grow the relationship around blogging. Talk more about blogging. Use this as the common interest you both shared to strengthen the relationship with the person you want to build.
This article from FastCompany shared the 7 key habits for building better relationships. You should read it.
4. Become a positive person first
Nobody likes to be around people who are negative. And if you want to surround yourself with positive people, make sure you become a positive person first.
Give positivity before you receive. This may sound a little contradictory because the reason you want to mix with positive people is so that you can become positive. Well, it’s a chicken and egg story.
Nobody can be positive 100% of the time, plus, you won’t be able to surround with positive people all the time. Sometimes you will have to work with negative colleagues who like to complain all the time.
What you can do then is to make sure that you stay positive and radiate positivity.
When you are positive, supportive, and encouraging, people automatically will want to be with you.
So don’t just solely rely on others to influence you, sometimes, you too can become a positive influencer.
Be the one who gives out positive energy and encourages others.
When you did, people will want to be friend with you. They want to get to know you and get close to you.
5. Increase the time spend with positive people
You have to understand that this is a long-term process and transforming your habits and characters require time.
So you have to consistently spend time with positive people. Not just one an hour or a day, but consistently over the long-term.
When you constantly program and consciously make yourself to think positive, eventually, it can become a habit. It becomes your thinking pattern.
Becoming a positive person is a process, not a one-time work. I recall a metaphor given by Tony Robbins that fits perfectly into this.
Tony said that he has an old piano that has been out of tune for years. One day, he decided to get the piano tuned by a professional so that his kids can play the piano again.
And so the piano tuner came and adjusted the strings. When the tuning was done, the tuner told Tony that he has to come back in the next 3 days to get the piano re-tune again.
Tony was surprised and asked him why. The tuner said that the piano has been out of tune for years, and for the piano to properly tuned, he has to tune it consistently, more often in the near future.
So the tuner would have to re-tune it for 3 days, then a week, then a month, then 3 months, and then once every 6 months to maintain the tune of the piano.
Hence, in order for you to become someone positive, you must constantly program yourself with positive thoughts and surround yourself with positive people.
And you have to do it consistently, especially in the beginning, to get rid of most of the negativity in you.
Just like tuning the piano, you have to do it more often in the beginning, and then maintain the progress.
The people who you surround yourself with can greatly impact and influence your life. Hence, choose to spend more time with positive people and spend less time with the negative people.
Follow the 5 tips I shared above to build positive relationships with the right people who elevate your life.