Menander of Athens, one of those old bearded Greek dramatists we’re so fond of quoting, put it like this:
“Bad company corrupts good character.”
There’s certainly truth to the snappy phrasing above. But, there’s also sufficient depth to it to make it worthwhile digging down into this statement for more of the wisdom that it undoubtedly holds.
If we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, then, while bad company corrupts good character, the reverse must also be true.
Here are just a few of the things to look out for when examining the relationships you maintain in your life.
Begrudgers Will Drag You Down
Getting anywhere in life is hard. In business, our relationships, skills development, nothing is for free. In whatever sphere of life you care to examine, progress requires the overcoming of obstacles, time and time again.
When we surround ourselves with people who tear us down with snide comments or who throw unworthy temptations into our path to distract us, we create more obstacles for ourselves.
There are already sufficient stumbling blocks in life without willingly adding more. This is a compelling reason why it is worth the effort to seek out the right people to spend your time with.
The right people are in tune with our goals, even if they don’t share the same goals. Supportive people help us on our path to self-realisation rather than hinder us.
Welcome into your life those who will be part of your support system. Just don’t forget to return the favour!
Embrace Good Role Models to Find Your Path
A peek into the bedrooms of teenagers around the world will reveal some important insights into human nature. I’m not talking about the unholy mess or that mouldy sandwich in the corner. I’m talking posters.
Teenagers love papering their bedroom walls with pin-ups of their idols. Stars of the big stages and screens of the world, influential political figures, and inspiring writers peer out from their perches in the bedrooms of adolescents across the globe.
See, the teens are onto something. They realise the truth of the phrase – you can’t be it if you can’t see it. As they struggle to find their way in the world, the young find heroes to emulate; role models to aspire to be like.
As adults, we sometimes expect to become the ‘hero of our own movie’ right off the bat. We forget that we can still learn from the lives of others too. We forget that we should learn from the lives of others.
While weak people often find the success of others intimidating and a reminder of their own comparative shortcomings, the wise know that they have much to learn from the efforts of others.
Share in the Lives of Others
Like anything we do regularly, friendships can become a habit. While some habits are good for us, others may drag us down. As we evolve and develop within our lives, it’s essential to take stock and examine the people we choose to spend time with and how they affect our evolution and development.
A fully-lived life requires others to share those meaningful moments with; not just the triumphs and celebrations but the hardships and failures too.
When we find just the right people, our lives become enriched. Our journey around the sun then becomes a much more meaning-filled adventure than it would have been otherwise.