I’ve been frustrated with myself a lot lately. There are areas in my life where I feel like I continually fail.
Human beings need three basic things in order to be content
"If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Failure is an interesting thing. I think that we are taught from an early age to avoid failure and stay in line.
In life, it’s easy to focus on the big moments that happened in the past, or the ones you have to look forward to in the future.
Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I have heard this quoted by a lot of people over the years. The quote is meant to encourage you to be sure you’re spending time with people who you respect and who will make you a better person in the long run.
It’s great advice, and as humans, we have a strong tendency to mimic the people we spend the most time with. We want to be liked and have things in common with people, so over time, we will develop bonds with those who are most like us.
This quote is most often used to remind us to select our friends wisely, but the other day I thought about it from the opposite perspective, one that puts the ball in my court. What about the people who spend most of their time with me? In reverse to the people I spent my time with, I also contribute to the overall result of the people who spend a lot of their time with me.
Think about it. The people who spend most of their time with YOU are influenced by YOU. Your best friend is the average of the five people he/she spends the most time with, and one of those people is you.
So, what are you giving them? What are you putting out in the world? Your attitude rubs off on the people around you. So does your outlook on life and your commitment to being your best (or lack thereof). Do you complain or problem solve? Do you encourage people or tear them down?
How you go about your life matters, both for yourself and for the people around you. How you treat people will affect how they treat others, and those people treat others, and on it goes. You have an opportunity to make the world a better place just through being kind to the small group of people around you. The more intentional you are, the more intentional the world will be. All of these things will compound because of the way humans are, you affect others, they affect others, those people affect others, and so on. Choosing to live your life well and be kind will have a splintering effect throughout your community.
Kindness spreads, criticism spreads, complaining spreads, hard work spreads. You can make the choice to do your part to make sure the good things are spreading.
Having a positive impact on the world begins with the people you impact daily.
If I have an effect on the people I spend the most of my time with, and their evolution as a person is affected by how I treat them and how I go about living my life, then I have a responsibility to give them the best that I can. The kinder I am, the kinder those around me will be, and the more driven I am the more driven they will be. It might be small and unnoticeable at the time, but the more goodness you give to the world, the more the world will feel it.
So go, do your part to make life better for the people around you and impact them in a positive way. Make changes in the little ways, and the big impact will follow.
In college I worked at a camp in North Carolina each summer, and in between each 2 week session all of the staff gets some time off.
Last weekend a lot of people I know graduated from either grad school or undergrad.
To all of the recent college graduates
With every sunrise, a new opportunity arises for me to continue on my journey of becoming myself.
It’s possible to coast through life - to take the path of least resistance, to make life as easy for yourself as possible.
It is a miracle that you’re alive. It’s a miracle that you were born, and then you grew up, and now you’re here.
It’s really important to prepare for future opportunities when you’re young. Yes, you want to enjoy the present, but the future is coming, and what you do now can have a big impact in the future. Even if you just do a little each day to prepare, start tomorrow and you will have a lot to show for in a few years.
Recently a friend of mine from work moved on to a new opportunity and a new town. We started two months apart from each other and had developed a good friendship over the years. As he left it got me thinking about how we can take the people around us for granted. It’s easy not to think about the fact that your friends you have now will not always live nearby, and I think that often leads to a lack of intentional development of our friendships.
Do you demand the best for yourself? Do you demand that you achieve everything you can now and in the future?
If you don’t, then your leaving potential on the table, and you’re not giving the rest of us everything you have to offer. I’m not challenging to become famous or invent a world changing product, but I do believe that you owe it to yourself and to the world to demand the best of yourself.
Being distracted has become a noticeable issue for me over the last few years. Especially when it comes to focusing during a long block of time to get work done. After a little while I often fall victim to distraction.
For me, one of the most challenging parts of making the transition from college to the real world was how different my social life and friendships looked. In college, I was constantly surrounded by people and always had the opportunity to begin new friendships. I went to a huge college so there was never a lack of people to meet.
Then I graduated
We’ve all been there.
“Hey! How are you?”
“I’m doing great, you?”
Not all of our conversations are stellar, and for many people conversations can be downright difficult or stressful. It’s easy to go on autopilot and ask generic questions, only to give generic answers right back.
When I was a senior in college, the question constantly asked of me by family and friends was “so what are you going to do?” There is nothing wrong with this question, and it’s a logical thing to ask, but over time the question begins to send the message of “have you figured out your future yet?"