Many of us have heard that you are, in many ways, the aggregate of the 5 people you are surrounded by most. As much as we strive to be our individual selves, I believe the people that are in our lives have a far greater impact on us than we would like to believe or certainly admit. To me, that is not a liability, but an opportunity. We can begin to focus on surrounding ourselves with people who bring positive changes and experiences into our lives. There is a picture of some wonderful and fun people I am sharing an experience at our local state fair with.
That is not to say we should base all of our interactions on a ‘what can you do for me’ mentality. Just be aware how you feel and act around certain people. I know when I enjoy a walk or a cup of coffee with my friend Nick I end feeling both empowered and inspired. When I walk with my mom in nature we both feel relaxed and grateful for the natural beauty we have experienced. When I spend a romantic evening with Margie and I am always left feeling loved and grateful to have such a beautiful and amazing lady to share life with. Even though these are examples of groups of two, it is important to appreciate the magic that happens when people get together!
Of course there are negative groups of people too. Yes, people who unite behind causes that are at best, less than noble. This was brought to my attention by a coworker of mine who was feeling despondent because, as he mentioned, everywhere he looked he seemed to see some depressing news. “Even on my Facebook it is all negative!” he proclaimed. I have explained how important it is to choose those you include in your social media posse carefully. I have actually dedicated an entire section on how to do this and why it is important in my new book, Living the Dream. I would like to give you a great example of a group I am in and how it affects my life.
I am a big fan of Mr. Rogers, the television show host who taught children valuable life lessons. Many of these lessons, such as the importance of expressing negative emotions in a positive and constructive way, could be used on adults today. I joined a group on the afore mentioned Facebook, that is all about Mr. Rogers and people’s memories of him. In this group people not only share the valuable lessons they learned, they practice them as well. I recall a young man who had autism and wanted one of the puppets like Mr. Rogers used on his show. Not only was there an outpouring of support and encouragement for this young man, but someone also sent him a puppet as well. This holds true for people who lost jobs, are feeling down or could just use a little support in general.
I told this to my troubled coworker who countered with “Yes, but that is just one group of people. Not everyone is like that.” I pondered these words. There was some truth in them, but there was an important fact that he was missing. “What about the groups of people you were talking about before? The negative and angry people.” I asked him. “Aren’t those people just one group of people? They certainly do not represent the world at large.” In this day an age, it may very well be true that negative groups get more of the press, but that does not mean they represent everyone. Just like my group of fellow Mr. Rogers fans, there are plenty of groups who display the good that is inside every one of us, no matter how deep it is buried.
I suggest we search out these groups and lend our own positivity and compassion to them. Groups of positive people not only encourage and support each other, but working together can make a greater difference than all of those individuals working on their own. Can’t find a group like this to join try searching positive terms online. I belong to groups that have a positive view on motivation, inspiration, fitness and many other subjects. If you are a self-starter, try forming your own group of positive people! I have started one on Facebook called “Fall in love with your life” that not only contains these blogs, but many other positive stories and examples! Find your group of positive people and surround yourself with them as often as you can!