As my mom used to say to me when I was teenager, “You are who you hang out with.” It wasn’t until the last couple years that I’ve fully grasped what she was trying to say to me. I have learned that the people you surround yourself with either lift you up or bring you down; they motivate you or drain you; they support you or criticize you; they make you laugh or make you cry. It is important to make an effort with those people in your life who are kind, who love you, and who are a positive influence in your life. And, of course, it is just as important that you also try to be kind, loving, and positive so that those people want to be around you as well.
Your mindset/outlook in life is the most important thing in determining your level of happiness; however, your relationships with others can help increase your happiness quotient. Most people don’t realize the impact the type of people you surround yourself with has on your well-being. In Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zone Way, Dan Buettner traveled to places around the world that have the highest happiness quotients in order to find out what they’re doing differently. He traveled to Denmark, Singapore, Mexico, and San Luis Obispo, California and found one of the factors that played a large role in people’s happiness was the amount of close, loving relationships people had with others in their lives. Most lived very close to family (or even with family members) or had many friends nearby (and many had both). This fact hit home for me as I had been living far away from family and friends for the past 2 1/2 years and had just recently moved home to Michigan so that I could be closer to family and friends. I wanted to surround myself with people who loved me, supported me, and believed in me, and I wanted to be able to do the same for them.
The following are a few inspirational quotes on surrounding yourself with the “right” people:
“Associate only with positive, focused people who you can learn from and who will not drain your valuable energy with uninspiring attitudes. By developing relationships with those committed to constant improvement and the pursuit of the best that life has to offer, you will have plenty of company on your path to the top of whatever mountain you seek to climb.” – Robin Sharma
A special ‘Thank You’ to Jamie for her wonderful insights and amazing perspectives on surrounding yourself with the right kind of people. Read even more here.
A lot of us have a natural instinct in us to help others … friends, family members, co-workers … in any way that we can.
Most of us have someone we have crossed paths with at some time or another, who we know instantly, will be draining to our soul.
But we stay and listen anyway, talk with them, and at least try to help. Yet, after you’re done, you find that you are now the one emotionally & physically drained! Has this ever happened to you?
If so, I would like to introduce you to the 3 circles I like to call my ‘Life Savers’.
You have 3 …
1. The Inner Circle – This is the one closest to you & your heart – like friends and family members that are uplifting to you and
make you the most happy
2. The Middle Circle – This one is one that has a little distance – maybe where you would keep co-workers or friends that you know aren’t the most positive, but you still want to have them in your life but at your discretion.
3. The Outer Circle – This circle of people is the one that is furthest away from you – such as acquaintances, people with negative attitudes or people that you just know you want to keep at a very safe distance.
Try this …
Step 1. On a piece of paper draw out your 3 circles. One smaller one, then a larger one around that, and then an even larger one around that one.
Be sure to take your time and put some real thought into past experiences, conversations etc … that you have had with the people you are about to include into any of your life circles.
Step 2. Start with your inner circle … within the circle, write the names of the ones closest to you. The people who love, honor and respect you as much as you do them.
Step 3. Repeat this for the next two circles as well, each time moving the ones that aren’t good for your heart, your health or your spirit, furthest away from your inner circle.
When you are done with this project … please take some time to reflect on your circles.
Take a good look at your smallest, most inner circle.
These are the people you want to hold on to, cherish the most, and love with all your heart!
The Middle Circle … well these people are people you probably love & care for, but are also people whom you know are good for you only in small doses. Too much time with any of these people can leave you feeling drained. Handle these with care!
The Outer Circle … these are people you can definitely refrain yourself from seeing, unless of course, it’s accidental or by chance that you come upon each other’s paths. In this case, you could casually say ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’ (I would probably refrain from saying “How are you doing?” unless, of course, you have lots of time on your hands) ;)!
But as you will see by looking at your circles … they truly can be ‘Life Savers’ if you use your data collected wisely! 😉
Good Luck To You In All That You Do!
Much love! Be well.