In last week’s introduction to this series I mentioned three key truths that I have learned over the past year getting off of my island.
The first and foremost is that misery loves company and success loves overcomers.
With just a few minutes of observation anyone will agree (well except my uncle Dave… he doesn’t agree with anyone) that we attract to ourselves people in similar situations as our own. People of similar interest and similar experiences and by doing so it is easy to believe that your current situation in life is the norm.
Let me put it this way, when you surround yourself with others that are scared of water then you feel very justified in your fear of water. However, if you surround yourself with divers then you will naturally develop a mental “leverage” that leads you to believe that your fear of water is silly and small.
I found that as soon as I was depressed I was surrounded by those that are both full on depressed but also by people who were optimistically depressed! What I mean by that is the sort that have just “accepted life as it is”. These are the real dangerous ones.
It’s easy to get tired of being drained in a room full of depressed folks, which is technically impossible cause most depressed people won’t all gather in one place but the ones that have learned to smile with life’s compromises, now they can hurt you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not mocking the truly depressed. I myself utilized anti-depressants during my divorce and for a good while after. No I’m talking about the surrendered and resigned.
Next time you are with someone talking ask yourself these very revealing questions?
- Why does this person want to be here with me?
- Why do they think that I want to be here with them?
It’s good to assess the “company” you are keeping. I do this frequently. Not from a rude position or even an arrogant mindset.
Consider one of my favorite quotes.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Think about that for a few seconds. Really meditate on this as a principal. Don’t try to prove it wrong just accept for a few minutes that it’s totally true.
What thoughts come to mind? Especially those first few thoughts. Whatever they are I would trust them and act on them.
I learned that ALL of my friends and colleagues that I would consider successful have been through hell. They don’t typically hang with those that have not. It’s a right of passage that builds trust.
I once was attempting to play poker with a bunch of guys that I considered to be “successful businessmen”. Notice I said successful businessmen and not just “successful”.
Always remember what YOUR Definition of success is and DO NOT vary from it. Well… unless it’s hurting others of course!
Anyway as the night went on, I found myself becoming more and more intimidated by these guys but I couldn’t figure out what was causing it to happen. It wasn’t because I was losing my shirt in cards cause I could really care less about cards or winning at them!
Finally it dawned on me. Everyone in the room SEEMED more experienced and further down the road than I was in business.
Still the night continued and by the end of the night when all the cussing and regret had left the table, I was hit with a major revelation.
Every single one of those businessmen had mentioned in passing that night that they had been THROUGH bankruptcy. And most more than once!
I’ll end with these observations.
1. Find people who have experienced more than you and with any luck you can dodge some of the hell they went through.
2. Surround yourself with company that has been through more than you and truly see their experiences as blessing and turning points in their lives.
WARNING: If you mention a topic and someone gets that spooky ten thousand foot stare and start to twitch as they speak on that topic… they have not healed from it. You should immediately change the subject!
3. Find those that have paid a price for what they have. Even if what they have is not exactly what you want there is a massive difference between the paid seats and the free lawn seats!
4. It’s better to not play any game that you do not care whether you win or lose… such as poker!
If you are reading this blog then you are a bit of a dreamer, a creator and probably an optimist. No one has ever been discovered just blending in and no one has EVER discovered anything by looking at what blends!
Surround yourself with good company and accelerate getting back to you!