Stop and think about exactly who you are with most of the time. Whether this is a collection of co-workers, neighbors, tennis partners, or life-long friends. This collection of people are the sum of who you are and even more significantly where you are headed.
Now, before we dive into why they have such an influence over your future, let’s first park the bus at the stop called, “Your chosen people and who you are.” The people you let on your bus reflect your beliefs about money, attitude, and perseverance – to name just a few attributes. The reality is, we are with the people that we get along with the best. In essence, the people who are most like us.
So who are these people to you and why did you choose them? Whether you realize it or not, they didn’t just “wind up” in your life. You attracted them, and more importantly you have chosen to keep them there. Now, before we pull the bus away – as you reflect on each of these people and what they contribute to your life – be it negative or positive… the choice is yours as to who stays on your bus.
Of the things that matter to me, there are few that matter more than this choice, because you become your surroundings both consciously and sub-consciously. Let me draw a quick parallel to this concept… because folks, there’s no avoiding it. Let’s consider Epigenetics. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a science class… but consider this: in layman’s terms, Epigenetics is essentially the study of external or environmental factors that turn genes on and off and affect how cells read genes. The take away here being YOU at the cellular level WILL become your environment (who you are surrounded with).
There was a time that I didn’t always understand the gravity of this single factor in life and when I first started thinking about it, I realized the best way to describe “my people” was that I was on the Island of the Misfit Toys. Now before you need to point it out… what did that say about me!? I know, I came to the same conclusion. That was many, many years ago and now I can tell you my life is blessed in more ways than I could ever count with the friends that I have INTENTIONALLY surrounded myself with. I can also promise you that all successful people do the same.
In closing, I was recently invited to a Lyle Lovett concert by a dear friend that I hadn’t seen in over a decade. (Thank you Micah!) I don’t have any of Lyle’s music so I went with the only expectation of sharing a great evening with an old friend. Here was my most unexpected takeaway that came about mid-way through the night…
“I am so grateful to be able to spend my life doing what I truly love, but what I am most grateful for is that I am surrounded by people who inspire me by their greatness and watching them do what they love, so well!” -Lyle Lovett
It was the best music by the best musicians I have ever heard, all 13 of them. As impressed as I was with the music, I was even more in awe seeing the grace and appreciation Lyle had for the people he chose to surround himself with. In that moment, I realized again to an even greater degree how grateful I am for the incredible, amazing, and talented people that I have in my life. Each of them inspire me to be better every day. And when I have my moments (sometimes days) of reverting back to “Charlie in the Box” they keep me grounded and on track. So, now it’s your turn. Who is on your bus? Do they help you to play beautiful music or do you feel that you are the ringleader of the Barnum and Bailey circus? It’s never too late to pull the bus over and drop some folks off at the next stop. Your cells, your spirit and your future depend on it.
With inspired gratitude,