We all tell our children that they must be careful about, who they associate with at school, because we know how their peers will influence their behavior, attitude and demeanor. Of course the same thing does not apply to us, when we are adults. The people we associate with will have no effect on us at all – right. Wrong – whether you are young or old, the people you associate with have a massive influence on your life.
Are the people you spend time with Helping or hindering your progress?
If you consciously choose to invest time with the right people, they will be a huge asset and become great contributors to your success. On the other hand, if you consume time, hanging around the wrong people, they will negatively impact your life and slowly, almost unnoticed, nudge you just a little off course every day. Until you wake on a path of disappointment and failure, wondering how you landed up so far off course and how things managed to go so wrong.
Evaluate your Associations
Take a really hard look at your environment and evaluate everyone, who you spend time around. Remember that the people you invest the most time around, will have a profound effect on you, They will influence your behavior, attitude and level of commitment towards taking the action you need to take to succeed. Be honest and ruthless if necessary and ask yourself this question.
- How are these associations affecting me?
- What have they got me doing, listening to, reading, thinking and most importantly how do these associations make me feel?
Be brutally honest with yourself and make a list of all your associations. Create two columns on the page where you make your list. One column must be for those associations, who contribute towards your success and the other a list of the people, who do not.
Carry out an Audit of your Associations?
There are two main criterion, to consider as you explore all your associations:
- Are your associations positive and do they make you feel good and contribute to your success. – Promote these associations and work to spend more time around these people.
- Are your associations negative and draining, do they sap your passion and drive. – Limit these associations as far as possible and even eliminate these people from your life completely, if possible.
Remember that both groups of people exert influence over your life, whether you want them to or not.
- One group will contribute to your growth and take you where you want to go.
- Whilst the other group will creep into your life, like a thief in the night and slowly over time, rob you of your energy, passion, drive, discipline, potential and success.
Invest your time around people, who will help you to go in the direction you want to go. Stop wasting your time on people, who are like vampires that drain your lifeblood and energy. Begin to invest your most valuable asset, namely “your time”, with only people that support, uplift and energise you.
Making the Tough Choice about your Associations
After you have carried out your personal audit and decided, which associations and relationships are positive and contribute to your success and which don’t. You only have three choices available, which will support you to optimise your positive associations and reduce the effect your negative associations have on your life.
Disassociate – Completely eliminate those draining and dream killing people from your life. This is obviously not a decision you should take lightly, but I believe it is a really crucial and often very difficult decision to make. This very tough decision will eliminate a huge drain on your potential and help you realise the quality of life you deserve.
Limited Association – If you are unable to completely dissociate from certain people and eliminate your associations with them completely. Due to family ties, work associations etc. Then it is imperative that you limit the amount of contact you have with these people. We have so little time at our disposal; invest your most valuable asset very wisely. Invest major time into associations, which will support you to feel inspired, energised and driven to succeed and expend minor time on relationships that could hurt you.
Expand Your Associations – As this is the area where you are going to leverage the most benefit, it is obviously the place where you should focus your energy. Identify people, who you believe you can have a mutually beneficially relationship with. These associations are mutually beneficial and will contribute to each other’s mutual success and growth. They are called associations on purpose and should become a conscious part of your success strategy.
When you invest time around the right people, by creating associations on purpose, you expand your circle of influence and by default you reduce the amount of time you waste with the wrong people.
Author: Andrew Horton