Who will you become?

Have you ever had a friend you spent so much time with that you started talking and sounding alike? People probably started mistaking you for sisters or brothers. Did you know that’s because you naturally become like those you surround yourself with most?

I went south to Texas for college. I’m from Minne-SNOW-ta, so I was ready to get out of the cold! From the moment I stepped onto campus, I can’t even count how many people commented on my accent. I felt like I was from a foreign country!

Once they learned I was Minnesotan, it was natural to hear, “Like from the movie Fargo?!” Now — side note — if you know your geography, Fargo is not in Minnesota! It’s actually hours away in North Dakota.

Do you remember the children’s television show, “Bobby’s World”? If you’re my age, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re younger, I’m just aging myself. But, I’m not kidding you when I say I sounded just like Bobby’s mom.

It went a little something like this: “Oh, my Bobby, you know, just my little buzz buzz, dont-cha know. I just think this is such a jim dandy idea! I just don’t have time for these gee golly … Oh I suppose you’re right!” It sounds like I’m exaggerating, but sadly, I’m not. I am so Minnesotan through and through.

Here’s the Point

Anyway, let’s get to the point. After being surrounded by new friends with the defined Texan accent and crazy phrases, when I’d travel back home on breaks, all my Minnesotan friends thought I sounded Texan! Did I really? No, I just added “y’all” and “fixin to” and “all of y’all” into my vocabulary (something I promised myself I’d never do because I thought it was completely weird)!

So instead of sounding Minnesotan or Texan, I sounded like a crazy mut! It went something like this: “Oh my goodness, dontcha know that I’m fixin’ to go out with all of y’all and have a gee golly good time?”

Why did I sound so much different to my old friends? Here’s why. I was influenced by the ones I surrounded myself with in college, and I slowly changed to fit that mold. It’s said that you become like the few people you surround yourself with most, and I know this example is a bit strange, but it’s so true!

We become like who we choose to surround ourselves with. Because of this, it’s important to choose wisely your close friends and your association.

It is better to be alone than in the wrong company. Tell me who your best friends are, and I will tell you who you are. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl, but if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. — Anonymous

What Can We Do?

How do we make this practical? I want you to take some time to think about what you want your life to look like. Who do you want others to see you as? What do you want to be known for? How successful do you want to be?

Now, think about who your closest five friends are. Are they in life where you want to be? Are they moving forward and wanting to grow? Are they the person you strive to be? If so, good for you, your association sounds like it’s in tact.

But, if not, you may need to re-evaluate some of those relationships. You don’t need to unfriend them, that’s not what I’m saying. However, you may need to be intentional about finding some new relationships with a couple people who are going the same direction.

My guess is, if you were to really look at the five people who you surround yourself with the most, they are driving the same types of cars, living in the same size houses, have a similar careers or salary, and so on. If that’s where you want to be, great.

If we’re the smartest person in the room, we’re really not using those smarts.

But if you want more, find a couple people who are further along than you and choose to associate with them. Find out what they know. Learn from them. Grow with them.

Final Stretch

If we’re the smartest person in the room, we’re really not using those smarts. Intelligent people will surround themselves with someone more successful and more intelligent than themselves because they know it’s beneficial and that it is the key to growth.

Choose your close friends and your association carefully. Make sure that they will build you up and help you to grow. Make sure you can provide value for each other. Surround yourself with others who are further along than you are. Association is key.

Remember, you are a winner. Just run YOUR race!

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