Sunday, August 2, 2009

It’s Friendship Day People…so who are your friends again?

By Marita Greenidge

Can you do it? Can you really walk hand-in-hand with someone who’s not going where you want to go? At some point along the journey someone’s going to have to let go or both your journeys will come to a screeching halt.
Pretty simple concept…let’s make it even simpler. You are kind enough to give your friend a ride to the supermarket. You buy all your groceries and are ready to head back home. If both of you live at the same house then great, you return home together. If you don’t, you have to drop that friend off. If you decide you want to hang out with your friend a little more because you enjoy their company so much then you’re stuck at that friend’s house until you leave. Meanwhile your groceries are sitting in huge pile because you decided to linger and not go on to do your business. Your journey has halted and you haven’t reached your destination. The frozen food is getting warm and the hot food cold.

In life, who you surround yourself with has such a crazy impact on your life. It morphs your thinking because you become immersed in a way of life. If societal status and gathering ‘things’ are the ambitions of your friends, then you may slowly find that those become your ambitions as well. And we may not want to admit this but think about the way you speak…the words you use….those bits and pieces you pick up along the way. I never said the word “awesome” before I came to Rochester but now it’s ingrained in my vocabulary….a little gift from my classmates who said it so frequently. I’ve passed on “altrighty” to my roommate. You see how this works. These things solely creep up on us and we don’t realize until it’s ingrained.

You want great habits and ways of thinking to seep into you. You want peer pressure to have a useful purpose like encouraging you never to cheat on your spouse or to volunteer to tutor young kids or adults. You don’t want it telling you to buy the latest non-essential object as the only way to feel worthy.

You do this by surrounding yourself with the right kind of people, the ones who are going to the same place you are. It’s the reason in your career you’re encouraged to join associations related to your fields. You get all the good info on the recent developments in your industry and a group of people that can help if you get stuck in a problem.

It’s easy to see this applied to a career so why is it so difficult to apply to our lives?

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