Change the People Who Are Around You

Picture of Mark and some of his team in Charlotte, NC, Sept 2013My wife came home recently, as cheerful and energetic as I’ve seen her in months. She’d recently sought out and joined a local MeetUp group for successful women. She went straight to the event after work while I stayed home and took care of the house. She was gone several hours, so I knew she was having a good time.

When she walked through the door she had a big smile on her face. She was radiating energy like I haven’t seen in weeks. After putting her things down and saying goodnight to our daughter (who’d been in bed for a while), she sat down to tell me all about her evening. She excitedly told me about each of the women she met, telling me each one’s name and what she learned about them. As each of the women introduced herself at the meet-up, my wife told me, she took notes. She practiced each woman’s name each time she spoke to them. Now that’s taking networking seriously!

She continued to describe the event but what she really focused on was the people she met. She was genuinely excited about meeting and spending time with a group of like-minded people, describing them as “refreshing” and “inspiring.” She told me what a difference it is being around positive women who want to grow as people, compared to many of her co-workers who are unhappy with their circumstances but have settled for mediocrity. She proclaimed she is going to spend more time with her new friends and, in fact, seek out more like-minded people to add to her circle of new friends. That’s putting the power of association to good use!

Crowd in arena at national convention Charlotte 2013I put the same power to work in my own life by choosing to associate with people more successful than me, as well as people who will encourage me in my growth. I recently attended a huge company training event for my business. I spent three days with my team and 20,000 other like-minded people in a rock concert environment of training and personal growth, topped off by hearing the legendary John. C. Maxwell speak live and in person. It was absolutely phenomenal.

I’m minimizing my association with negative people, if not cutting them out altogether. I just don’t have time to spend being dragged down emotionally and psychologically. My future and my goals are too important for that, and I will never accomplish those goals if I allow myself to be poisoned by people with a negative mindset, no matter how well-intentioned they may be.

Look, many of the people we know are negative. They’re stuck in their lives and they don’t see things getting any better. Negative people don’t believe their lives can improve much so they don’t bother trying. They settle for mediocrity and tell themselves that they’re content with lack. Because of that mindset, anything we do to improve our own lives acts as a mirror to the negative people. They’ll get uncomfortable when you refuse to settle for average. Why? Because your desire reminds them of what they’re not doing. Often times, they will start to criticize your efforts, make fun of you or mock you, or tell you that what you’re doing is pointless, selfish, or any of a hundred other things intended to get you to quit.

I’m here to tell you… Don’t quit! Nothing worth having was ever easy to accomplish. If you truly want to make a positive change in your life you have to change! Jim Rohn said it well when he said, “Life doesn’t get better by chance. It gets better by choice.” Make the choice to change your life and then change it. One area you can change that may be more important than any other is your associations.

“Life doesn’t get better by chance. It gets better by choice.”

Don’t settle for medicrity, my friend. You deserve better. You deserve to be happy. As the great speaker Les brown says… You have greatness within you! Now find it and let it out.

Originally published on





Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *