I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the importance of surrounding yourself with good people who make you want to be a better person. I don’t necessarily mean Googleing nobel prize winners and camping outside their Kensington mansion houses (though that can’t hurt). I’m talking more about the natural osmosis that goes on when you spend time with driven, positive people.
This year 5 of my good friends have got amazing new jobs or gone for and got promotions, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. It’s not been a matter of the green eyed monster or through a fear of being left behind, and indeed the fact most of them were 10 years into a career makes change all the more inevitable. But I really believe being in a circle of motivated people who recognise the good in the world and are prepared to so something to make more of it spreads a rather contagious desire to do the same.
It’s very easy in an office environment to get sucked into moaning and grumbling about systems, senior management or annoying peers. It’s reassuring to know others feel the same on a bad day, and it’s probably easier to bond over shared annoyances than individual successes.
I’m sure we all have friends who we have to be in the right mood to pick up a phone call from because you know 45 minutes later you’ll be exhausted from listening to their negative drivel. A scroll through your Facebook feed and you’re likely to come across far more Moaning Minnies than Joyful Johns. And without realising, constantly reading their whines can suck the happy out of you. Don’t even get me started on watching Eastenders!
But in the same way we can get depressed and down watching the 10 o clock news we can also get uplifted by hearing or reading good news stories.
Have a think about who you spend most of your time with and the vibes they throw your way. Do these people make you feel positive, enthused, energised? If not, perhaps it’s time to get in touch with the people that make you like the you that you are and give you the drive to do something to make you happier.
A few years ago, I left a job that wasn’t making me happy and wasn’t making me like who I was. Not only was it impacting me but it was dragging down the people around me because I seeped negativity every evening. We have more power over the well being of the people around us than we realise, and vice versa.
I think the same goes for relationships too. Though direct comparisons are often not helpful (no one likes their partner to tell them they don’t do something as well as someone else’s partner), taking note of what you think is positive about other people’s relationships and getting new ideas of ways to keep your’s fresh and alive can be really healthy. If a close friend is going through relationship troubles it’s hugely important not to jump on the bandwagon and let their fears manifest in your own life.
So, get a glass of wine with that uber enthusiastic person you once new. Cull Facebook friends that have a tendancy to fill your feed with crappy comments about their seemingly awful (but probably quite blessed) lives. Try yoga. Read a book by someone inspiring. Talk to your friends about the good stuff going on in their lives. Take photos of things that make you smile. Look up and enjoy some free nature.
All these things added together will make one super powerful positivity bubble that will not only prime you to look for more of the good stuff out there, but will also organically rub off on you and make you want more of those happy shots of adrenaline.
Celebrate successes and acknowledge the good and you might find there are even more to celebrate and acknowledge round the corner.
The saying goes that you can’t choose your family (though I’m lucky mine are pretty awesome Jolly Johns) but you can choose your friends and the people in the circle you choose to reside in. So, be mindful who you invite into your circle and make more time for the people who make you feel good. A handful of those is far more special than 1473 Twitter followers who make you miserable.