Sunday, June 14, 2015

Five People You Meet and Power of Context

I hope you’re doing well!  Last week, I shared the importance of assuming the right attitude and thinking about the type of story you want to live out in your new role.  During this past week, I thought about the people I joined in doing the work.

Five People

In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the author Mitch Albom imagines that heaven consists of the five people who most influenced you on this earth.

A brief Wikipedia synopsis: “Eddie is killed and sent to heaven, where he encounters five people who significantly impacted him while he was alive.”

I find this to be an interesting metaphor for life.  The world you create in life is the world you’ll know in afterlife.  If we choose to be happy and surround ourselves with happy people, we will find that happiness beyond today.  It’s been a few months since I released How to be Happy: 12 Powerful Steps.  Yet, the daily practice goes on.  Who we choose to be around has a profound impact on our own happiness.

And it’s not just happiness.  I’ve once heard that we become the five people you spend the most time with (choose your friends wisely)!  Spend all your waking hours around drinkers, and you’ll find yourself drinking more.  If all your friends become vegetarians, you’ll find yourself eating less meat.  (You know this to be true.  When you join a company where everyone works late, you find it hard to go home on your own.  Choose your careers wisely!)

This is profound.

As much as you like to think you control your habits, you’re at the mercy of the environment you live in.  And that environment has a surprisingly narrow definition: the five people you spend most time with.

This is also empowering.  Your own habits and attitudes will influence those around you.

The Old and the New

As I mentioned in previous post, I recently started a new job.  With that, I have the pleasant opportunity to connect with new kinds of people and to make new friends.  

The old me thought about how I could get ahead.  The new me wonders what I can do to help others get ahead.  The old me thought about how much money I could make in such and such a role.  The new me wants to be content with work as its own reward.  The old me focused on me.  The new me catches myself doing that, and remembers to look around.  The old me worked hard to give all the answers, pleased to think of my own brilliance.  The new me seeks to ask questions so I can learn.

The old me was young and immature, but had no idea about how immature I was.  The new me at least recognizes I’m immature and knows nothing.

The Choice and Power Are Yours

One of the new people I recently met at work is a young fellow named Phil.  He sits by himself quietly for the most part.  He sits little bit apart from the team in a corner, and I thought he was one of the analysts who’d been with the company for a while.  I started talking to him and learned that he’s an intern.  That explained why he sat quietly by himself and no one seemed to talk to him regularly.

I’m pretty sure the old me would have thought to myself: interns … what do they know?  Turns out, Phil knows quite a bit!  He apparently runs a laundry concierge service at his college, and the business rakes in six figures net income!  He’s exactly the kind of entrepreneurial and energetic people I wanted to surround myself with.  Yet, I’m curious how many other people know this about Phil.

You have the power to surround yourself with good people, happy people, fun people.  You also have the power to be good, be happy, and have fun with your life.  And the process of choosing is a daily practice.  Choose wisely each day.

Further Reading

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