Have you heard about the studies that say we are a reflection of the five people that we spend the most time with? That’s right! We become most like the people we most like! When you look around your life, who or what do you see? Are there people who inspire you? Are willing to be straight with you? Hold your greatest dreams and visions. Or are there people who are more apt to choose harmony over truth, even when it comes to situations that are not in our highest? Years ago, I attended a ceremony in which Jay Leno, the comedian, was being honored. Accepting the award and thanking all of the people who supported him in his career, he of course singled-out his wife. In speaking about her and the success of their long-term marriage, Leno said: "Marry your conscience. Marry the one who makes you want to be a better person." Although he did not elaborate, Leno was speaking about the need to surround ourselves with people who:
bring out the best in us,
stand for our highest, and
do not choose harmony over truth when it comes to challenging us or being compassionately honest with us so that we can be the person that we aspire to be.
Yet the truth is that most people in our lives do quite the opposite. Most people have a tough time telling their friends and loved ones the truth, or asking the tough questions. Instead, they:
keep silent when we dive into a bag of chips,
encourage us to “just call” the person we have been obsessing about, or
help us justify a purchase that’s out of our budget.
Instead of busting us of our own BS or reminding us of our long-term vision and goals, they give us a high five and sheepishly encourage us to “Go for it!” even though they know we will regret it in the morning. Sound familiar? Most of us are programmed to believe that in the name of being “kind,” “nonjudgmental,” or “a good friend,” we should keep our mouths shut and avoid confrontation. Yet in many a situation, when we choose harmony over truth, all we are truly doing is enabling behavior that is not in our loved one's highest and colluding with the lie that "everything is fine!" or that "good enough" is acceptable. The truth is that if we cannot stand in what is in the highest for a loved one, especially when it supports them in achieving their stated goals and desires, then chances are that we cannot do the same for ourselves. So, as you start looking forward to the holiday season and the beginning of a new decade, start to honestly examine the people who surround you.
Do they inspire you?
Do they bring out the best in you?
Are they willing to be honest with you?
Do they reflect back to you the person you aspire to be?
Even though you can't pick your family of origin, you can choose your spouse, friends, business associates, and people you spend time with. If you want to live an extraordinary life then surround yourself with like-minded people who are dedicated to bringing out the best in others and themselves. Surround yourself with people who love you enough to risk speaking their truth if it will support you in living in your greatness. Surround yourself with people who know that you are here to deliver a gift to the world and recognize that living with integrity is not only in your highest but will benefit the world as well. Surround yourself with people in whose faces and in whose eyes you can see your truth because you know that they are standing for you to have the best and biggest life and to be your most magnificent self! Transformational Action Steps (1) Make a list of the 5 to 10 most important people in your life. Without making them wrong, journal about the impact they have on your day-to-day life. How do you feel when you are around them? Can you talk to them about what is really on your mind? Do they give you honest feedback or pick harmony over truth? Do they tolerate your mediocrity or stand for your magnificence? (2) Identify 1 or 2 people who, as Jay Leno says, "make you want to be a better person." (3) Make a plan to speak with them in order to acknowledge them for the role that they play in your life. (4) Really dwell in the conversation of creating a "conscious community" around you. What would that look like for you? How would it impact your life?