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It’s been repeated over and over for as long as I can remember. Whether it be guest speakers in college, motivational YouTube videos, preachers, your parents or maybe even your boss: most likely you’ve heard that you become and develop habits of the 5 people you surround yourself with. For me, I’ve heard this expression from all of the above & then some.
But unfortunately, like many of you, I am the type of person who usually has to learn the hard way. No matter how many times I’ve heard it or how many times others have made the mistake I’ll still convince myself that for me the outcome will be different.
Friendships Now vs Friendships Then
What I didn’t realize is how the dynamic in finding those steady 5 people changes. Think about it. When you’re in grade school, you meet friends based on where you live, where you go to school, what sports you play, or what activities you’re involved in. All of this is based on convenience. You cannot help who is in your class, who else is on the team, or who your neighbors are. These people came to you based on a commonality.
Flash forward to the real world, college. Some of these same principles still apply: you can’t help whose in your class, whose in your fraternity/sorority, who lives in your hall. BUT the scale is larger now. You have more options. You are not limited and the ability to pick and choose has expanded.
Now, you can pick who you choose to spend time with. After college, you may only have coworkers to pull from, or previous relationships. But there’s still the key word: choice.
The process of learning and growing as a person comes through reflection. It involves one going through something, a specific time period of life. But, it takes time for one to be able to glance back at that specific period and evaluate it.
Where did I go wrong?I lost a frienddddddd somewhere along...
Just kidding. But I did lose friends. Only now it’s because of choice.
It took reflection for me to sit down and ask myself some serious questions.
- Where do I want to be?
- What do I need to change to get there?
You have to stop being hard headed, take a step back, and realize NO matter how strong you are, YOU ARE NOT INVINCIBLE TO THE POWER OF INFLUENCE.
We are all influenced constantly. By everything. By everyone.
The Hard Part
After asking yourself these questions, you will realize change is required to grow. We must get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because outside of the comfort zone lies success.
Whenever one has problems, we turn to those in our inner circle. We seek advice and find comfort in the ability to be honest & vulnerable with one another. If you’re like me, this group is small. There are very few people I will open up to. My heart is sacred, that isn’t just for everyone to know.
Asking myself these questions, I realized I wasn’t going to get where I wanted to be by surrounding myself with the same people and listening to the same mindset. Another cliche:
Repeating your actions over and over again & expecting different results is insanity.
Cliché yes, but also very true. Something had to give...
So I stop filling my head with their advice. Started thinking for myself . My confidence grew. My decision making improved. Started doing what made me happy rather than what the group wanted. Started meeting people who had similar goals. People who weren’t complacent. People who were not accepting the easy route. People who realized there was more out there. People who realized the only thing that makes billionaires different is they chose to work a little harder. They chose to focus a little harder. They chose fun later over fun now.
Little by little, the mindset switches. Your exposed to a different perspective. You’re influenced in a different way.
It’s one decision. One absolutely imperative conversation you must have with yourself.
- Who is going to make me better?
- Who is going to provide a positive insight/impact on my life?
You know the answer. You may not like it and it can be a tough pill to swallow. But temporary pain is worth a lifetime of happiness.
Look at your inner circle closely. Look at who has access to your ears, heart, mind. Look who is shaping your life. Choose wisely and choose carefully because, oh what a difference it makes.