Today, I woke up thinking about the present status of my life, my very existence. Looking thoroughly, it was clear to see that my current location has been determined by the various stops I have made in the past, the people I’ve met and invited to join me on this journey called LIFE. Ultimately, my friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances all contribute to the sharpening of my choices, which invariably informed my decisions, and Voila! Here I am! All this sound confusing enough? Let me explain.
You want to succeed in life, no doubt. You’ve taken necessary steps to set yourself up for success. You’ve gotten in shape – mentally and physically. You’re working hard on yourself, and you’re reading books and articles with information you need. Then all of sudden, you find yourself stuck. And then who’s to blame?
If the people you’re friends with, or associate with at work, are a negative influence, guess what? You’re being influenced, whether you’re aware of it or not. Now, any of your friends can have a bad patch, and being there to pick them up when they’re down is part of friendship. But we’re talking about that other friend — the one whose idea of fun is always getting wasted, who can never chip in on the bill and always has a crisis he needs help cleaning up. You ignore his calls, and the one time you do pick up feels like one too many. I know I have these experiences.
But I’m like most of you: I don’t know how to say “NO” to these people. They are my friends, aren’t they? Even when I try not to initiate meet-ups with these people, I always end up accommodating them. St. Joseph indeed!
Sadly, your attitude, the way you look at the world, is influenced by who you spend time with. Think about it: Your worldview is shaped by the things you see and experience in the world. The way you invest your time in people and activities shapes the man/woman you become. That’s why I like to travel: to expand my horizon and see new things.
At this point, I sat down on my bed, head bowed down (my favourite pose for meditation) and did some reflection. I spend most of my nights in smoky bars, listening to by pubmates complain about how their boss sucks, their love life sucks, how the country sucks and how they never make more money. I tell you, I never leave this sessions feeling “charged and ready to take on the world.” Rather, they poison me with their negative juice and teach me how to always look at my life as a victim.
Have you ever been driving home from work, with the plan to cook dinner, clean up around the house, throw in a load of laundry, exercise, solve the Niger-Delta crises, read for a while, and then work a little more on your plan to go into business for yourself? Then you phone vibrates, a message from your girls to meet them up at for a cocktail. You tell yourself “I’ll do all that stuff tomorrow…,” and the next thing you recall is your alarm waking you up in the morning.
Well, you may say, “Joseph, I’m an adult; I can rearrange my plans and make those decisions for myself!” Oh yes! I totally concur. But, here’s the hitch: When people constantly pull you away from those other areas of your life, you become unbalanced. If taking a pass for the night causes them to tease you, or worse, make fun of your other goals, take a look at that. Granted, good friends bust balls left and right, but they truly want to see you succeed. True friends should be supportive of your goals.
Toxic friends, on the other hand, are afraid of seeing you succeed, as a reminder of how they’re not succeeding in their own lives. If your friends aren’t respectful of your dreams and ambitions, they won’t respect the time you devote to those pursuits, and they’ll try and get you to come to the bar instead.
I know everyone has their ups and downs, and the time will come when your true friends need somebody to listen, a shoulder to cry on or even some real help. None of that makes your friend a negative person. You can tell the difference between somebody having a bad day, bad month or even a bad year, versus a person who is in the dumps because they are choosing to be. So don’t abandon your friends — friendship is one of the very best parts of life. And don’t tolerate the people who use you as a crutch — you’ll end up smelling like an armpit.
In totally unrelated news, happy birthday to @oDEEra. Enjoy your day!
This post has already been read 2866 times!