Lessons We Learn….About Personal Growth

Steve Maraboli says that, “If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck…..”  So, where does that leave you if you don’t want to be a chicken anymore?  What if you have made the decision to stop clucking and begin the process of changing who you are?  Is there a behavior in your life that is no longer serving your purpose and you recognize that something has to change?

Most of us reach these turning points sometime in our lives.  It could be a career change that needs to happen, a relationship that needs to end or a destructive behavior that is negatively affecting your life.  It could be just realizing that you need to ‘grow-up’ a little and begin to take responsibility for the direction of your life.

Whatever the challenge for change, I encourage you to take a look around you and see who you are surrounded by in your life.  Because the rest of Steve Maraboli’s line is, “…and if you hang out with eagles, you are going to fly!”

“I’ve learned that the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.”  What a great lesson this is to learn!

Take a moment right now and think of yourself interacting with different groups of people or individuals currently in your life.  Reflect briefly on how you act and interact with that group of people when you are with them.  Chances are that you behave very differently based on who you are surrounded by in any particular situation.  If you are hanging out with your old college buddies, I’d wager a guess that the things you say and the things that you would do are very different in many ways from those that you would say or do if you were with your boss and co-workers or your church leaders.

I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, it is just something to take notice of in the context of this post!  If you want to change something about a behavior or situation in your life, you must think of the influence that those around you can have on that change.

If I was a smoker that wanted to quit smoking, I would not hang out with a bunch of people who are smoking.  Not that I am judging them for continuing to smoke, but, because I want to give myself the best chance possible of achieving the change that I am trying to make, I would limit my exposure to smokers.  Likewise, the diabetic or dieter may choose not to hang out at the pastry shop.  If you are breaking your shopaholic tendencies, the mall is not the place to be!  You get the picture……

My husband and I told our kids while they were growing up that they needed to manage the circumstances to minimize the risks (I know you can put this in context of various teenage desires and behaviors!).  In this instance I would say that you need to manage the circumstances to maximize your chance of success!

On my own journey of personal growth this has meant being surrounded by people who are where I want to be; people who have achieved what I want to achieve; people who have the same vision for their futures that I have for mine.  It has meant reading books and articles by writers who inspire me and listening to audio recordings that educate and keep me focused.  It has also meant meeting new people and associating with others that challenge me to continue to grow and can believe in my vision with me.

W. Clement Stone says, “Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.”  The beauty is that we get to choose!  It is a choice that we get to make every day; to be in circumstances and with people who either elevate us or drag us down.  If there is somebody in your life that just saps the energy out of you when you interact, that is somebody that you need to limit your interactions with.  While we might not be able to eliminate the negative relationships in our lives overnight, we can choose how to engage in those relationships while we keep looking for relationships that lift us up.

If you want to be successful, hang out with successful people.  If you want to be positive, hang out with positive thinkers.  If you want to be physically fit, hang out with others that value this in their lives.

And if you want to be a chicken, keep hanging with the chickens.

It’s your choice.  Find the tribe of people who are, and value, what you want to be and hang out with them.  You will leave your clucking days behind and discover new heights of achievement and accomplishment!

On the journey with you…….Kathy

(Quote:  Age 50- The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On, by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)

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