Which People Influence Your Life?

Harvey Mackay, best-selling author and renowned motivational speaker, leads off his list of ideas to keep you young at heart with this:

“Keep only cheerful, positive friends. You can pick your friends, and I like to choose those who are positive and people who challenge me. They make me feel good. They don’t drag me down or make me angry at the world. Negative people see the difficulty in every opportunity, while positive people see the opportunity in every difficulty.”

When I first heard this statement 10 years ago I questioned whether it was true. Now today I know it is undeniably accurate.

Recognizing this truth, how do we use it to our advantage? It’s simple. If we want to advance our lives personally and professionally, we must associate ourselves with people who will be a positive influence on our lives.

Do you play sports? If so, do you notice how you play better when you play with better players?

Do you play board or card games? Again, do you notice how you step up your game when you play with better competitors?

When we associate with others who have a greater skill set or have achieved more, we are challenged. It brings out the best in us and inspires us to do better. Observing and modeling someone’s positive example will help us reach new heights. We’re not just talking sports and games here. This applies to everything we do.

Surrounding ourselves with optimistic and uplifting people has a direct cause and effect on our demeanor, confidence level and performance. It’s all positive!

The legendary Zig Ziglar said it best,

“If you want to fly with the eagles you can’t continue to scratch with the turkeys.”

If you’ve characterized some of your friends as a negative influence, let me encourage you to begin to slowly reduce the amount of time you spend in those relationships.

If your family members say negative and discouraging things to you, have a conversation with them. Help them understand how their statements are damaging and ask them to focus on encouraging you rather than tearing you down.

They may not be easy to accomplish all at once, but if enjoying your life and achieving your personal best is a priority, surrounding yourself with people who can help you reach your full potential is a necessity.


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