It’s common knowledge that we should choose our friends carefully. We’ve all heard the saying that you can either “soar with the eagles or fly with the turkeys.” Most of the time when we hear this advice, it is connected to being successful (career-wise or financially).
But it’s even more important from the perspective of living authentically, joyfully and peacefully. In other words, “Surrounded by people who love life, you love it too; surrounded by people who don’t, you don’t.” (Mignon McLaughlin)
Although we each have greatness within us, not everyone chooses to express and live from their greatness. We’ve all experienced this — the typical example is the proverbial water cooler at work — where you can choose to associate with people who are negative and complaining or with people who are positive and upbeat.
Clearly, you feel differently based on who you associate with. Their energy affects you, and vice versa. This is why it’s so important to choose very carefully who will be in your inner circle (the people you spend the most time with, the people whose advice and wisdom you value).
Another perspective on this is that we each see through our own lens — and what we see is a reflection of who we are and how we choose to be. “A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world; everyone you meet is your mirror.” (Ken Keyes, Jr.) What world do you choose to live in?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said it well, “People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” It’s easy to tell if someone is living from their greatness….just listen to them talk for a while. Their views, opinions and perspectives on life will tell you everything you need to know about who they are.
This is obvious in the extremes — with those who are very negative about life, and with those who are positive and optimistic. “There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go.” (Frederick Faber) Now doesn’t that sound like someone you’d want to be friends with? And someone you’d want to be?!
(Please also see my earlier post “Do you have Life Support?” for more about the importance and benefits of our connections.)