“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” (Mark Twain)
We are impacted by the people who surround us. That’s a fact. The way we think, speak, act, even the topics we discuss are impacted by the ones we spend most time with. We learn from and copy each other, whether we like it or not.
Therefore I wish to be surrounded by people who inspire and motivate me, who I can learn form, who get the best out of me. And to avoid the “small people” – as Mark Twain calls them – as much as possible.
The tricky thing about time
I don’t know about you but my time is very precious to me. Maybe the most precious thing I have! Time is the only thing in life that we don’t get back. We can lose our house, our friends, our job, all of our possession but there is always a chance that we will get it back. Not so with time. Once a moment, minute, hour, day etc. is gone, it is gone forever.
If we want to improve ourselves, our lives and to reach our goals, we need to surround ourselves with the right people who can assist us in this process and who not only waste our time.
I still find it quite challenging saying NO to people since it is simply not my strongest point, in fact I am quite bad at it. And at the same time I realize that it is important to be critical about who does and who does not qualify as a “friend” since it my time, my energy, my life. And this justifies that from time to time I have to turn down people. And so should you.
Do the friend test:
- Who are the top ten people you spend most time with?
- What impact do they have on you?
- Do they give or cost you energy?
- Why do you spend time with them?
- And most importantly: Are they worth your time also in future?
Know who your role models are:
And then make another list with people you look up to, people who really inspire and motivate you. Who would you like to spend (more) time with if you could? Who would give you (more) energy? Write everybody down, no matter if you know the person or not, or if it is realistic to spend time with him/her or not. It is also ok to generalize.
On my list for example I have:
- Open-minded entrepreneurial people who think in opportunities rather than in threats
- People who want to get out most of life and who are going for their dreams
- People who inspire me because of what they do or they way they think
- People who get out the best of me
And I actively look for these people. The good news is that we don’t have to spend time with them physically. It can also be sufficient to read their books, follow their blogs, watch their interviews etc. to get inspired by and learn from them.
I find Meetup a very useful way of finding and meeting the sort of people I am looking for. You can also create your own group and attract the people you want to spend time with.
So, take your time to stop wasting your time!
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