The major determining factors between where you are now and where you want to be in the future are (1) The books that you read; (2) The people you associate with; and (3) The dreams that you dream.-Lou Holtz
We all move in certain circles. We have our circle of friends, associates, colleagues, and even family members with whom we "hang out". We have something in common with these people and we feel comfortable in their company. These people are also our circle of influence. They are the ones with whom we discuss our problems, concerns, aspirations, and goals. They are the ones who influence our decisions, our beliefs, and our actions. They are the ones who create a positive or negative influence around us. Are you surrounded by a POSITIVE or NEGATIVE circle of influence?
Your circle of influence is important in many ways. Think about how the people in your life influence you. Do they encourage you? Do they give you positive feedback, or do they try to impose negative programming on you? Are they upbeat optimists or deadbeat pessimists? Do you feel motivated and inspired in their presence or unenthused and defeated?
If you are beginning to feel like you are in with the "out" crowd, it may be time to move into another circle of influence. Not only is it important for you to have a positive circle of influence, but it is also imperative that you have people in your circle who can mentor, support, and benefit you in your areas of pursuit. If you want to succeed, you have to "hang out" with successful people.
During my days as a strength and conditioning coach I utilized the circle of influence to improve a players work habits and build a team environment. I would place more mature athletes with strong work habits with those younger athletes with less than desirable habits. These younger players had good potential they just needed a nudge. Over the course of the twelve week off season program of being positively influenced, a new player emerged. I compounded my return. I got a better player for the team and made the team better at the same time.
Your circle of influence should reflect the kind of atmosphere you are trying to create for yourself. It should consist of like-minded people with similar goals, and you should avoid people who try to limit your dreams.
What does your circle of influence look like? Ask yourself if you are attracted to the right people. Some of you may just naturally gravitate toward successful people, but some of you may naturally gravitate toward people who will not benefit you. Did you ever notice how some people always have something positive to say or something new and exciting going on in their lives? On the other side of the coin are the belly aching, bitch and moan complainers. You know the kind. You never want to ask them. ‘How are things?’
You should seriously consider avoiding negative people, as they will be of no benefit to you. They will, more than likely, drag you down to their level. You've heard the expression, "misery loves company", haven't you? You should, however, associate with positive, ambitious people, as their influence will be of great benefit to you. You will learn from them, get support and encouragement from them, and they will provide you with opportunities which you may otherwise not discover on your own.
So, be sure you have a positive circle of influence. It's one of the factors that determines the difference between success and failure.