We become the company we keep, part 2

In part 1, written last summer, I encouraged you to use the nearly unlimited power of social media to build the kind of inspirational network you need as a foundation for success. We tend to become the company we keep, so why not use social media to find the examples of success and happiness that you want more of in your life?

Leeches - the cure for everything!The flip side of the coin is that we tend to become the company we keep. If we surround ourselves with bitter, angry, uninspiring people who do nothing but urinate into our mental pool, we go that route too – and unlike positive, inspiring people, it doesn’t take much. As Tony Robbins once quipped, you don’t need to drink a gallon of poison to have an effect – just a little is more than enough.

Go open Twitter or Facebook right now. Take a look at the people who put stuff into your head ever fleetingly, 140 characters at a time. Is their stuff good for you or bad for you? When you read what they have to say, do you feel better or worse? When you hear them speak, do you feel energized and excited or cynical and dismissive? Do they use their social media channels to inspire with stories about people in their lives who have helped them or whine about the poor service someone gave them?

It’s easy to tolerate negativity and incredibly poisonous to do so. Sometimes you feel socially obligated to if it’s a close friend or someone you care about. Here’s a nifty, somewhat sneaky antidote to those people. First, create a network with a lot of people in it. Tons. Follow everyone that you can that’s inspiring to you. This increases the probability that whenever you do open a social network, the chances are good that someone will be saying something that brings some positive energy to your day. Next, to the extent that a social network permits you to, create a private list of positive, powerful, inspiring friends, folks who seem to always have something good to bring to the table. Finally, prune out those friends who don’t necessarily bring good cheer to you from that private, secret, quiet list of those that do, so that you don’t have to hurt someone’s feelings by cutting them out of your network, but you don’t have to put their baggage in your taxi either.

You have enough negative forces in your life without voluntarily adding more to it with social media. Unlike a workplace or home, you have complete freedom to choose who you listen to in social media, to choose who you allow to influence you.

Choose wisely for you become the company you keep.


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  • mistressmia

    I think about this daily … my father's words of wisdom … “if you fly with crows” That said, I'm a fan of the real stuff, I love a good break-up, break-down, vent, rant whatever … that is real life. I'm not about to say “I'm 100% authentic, only on days that my life is perfect” I am thrilled that you got to write “urinate into our mental pool” surely a highlight of your post.

    What I take away: Don't make friends, build a network. Be conscious and deliberate about the people you choose to spend time with and allow to influence you both on and offline!

  • Susan Milligan

    Hear Hear!! Great advice in any part of living, I agree completely!

    Used to be that people would say “He's really a good kid, he's just hanging with a bad crowd.” Sorry, but he has become part of the makeup of that bad crowd. He is soon a bad kid. Ya' don't often hear he's really a bad kid he's just hanging with a good crowd. Bad grows like a weed.. Good has to be cultivated.

    Make that happen in your daily routine. Hang with the good crowd no matter what. Positive, upbeat, fun, assertive, ethical and fair people are simply the best in the world for themselves and for you.

  • http://chelpixie.com/ Chel Wolverton

    Makes one consider if they should revamp their lists/follows/etc.

    Might be time for a refresh on that.

  • http://katjaibur.posterous.com/ Kat Jaibur

    Posts like this are why I subscribe to your blog, Chris. Lots of good marketing info here, plus every now and then something that fuels the soul.

    Choosing the company we keep matters not only on social media, but in real life, too. And I would take that “company” a step further to include our thoughts. We are what we feed ourselves. Re your last line: We always have a choice as to who we listen to, who we take to heart, what we allow to influence us. Always. Today, I'm choosing thoughts that uplift. I have to. I'm having eye surgery tomorrow, and I can either torture myself with thoughts about how painful it was last time. Or focus on how grateful I am that I have the best doctors with the best technology to fix this before it escalates. That's my real job today. Choosing wisely.

  • http://www.superiorpromos.com Pablo Edwards

    Great reminder for us all. I can attest to both sides of the coin. I woke up one day and realized I was complaining about everything and bitter. I traced it back to a few people around me who had the same attitude so I deliberately separated from them and found a new group, who rubbed off nicely on me!

  • JustinAtSmile.ly

    Nice post and a great message. This just comes to show how strong of an influence social media can have on us.

  • mistressmia

    I think about this daily … my father's words of wisdom … “if you fly with crows” That said, I'm a fan of the real stuff, I love a good break-up, break-down, vent, rant whatever … that is real life. I'm not about to say “I'm 100% authentic, only on days that my life is perfect” I am thrilled that you got to write “urinate into our mental pool” surely a highlight of your post.

    What I take away: Don't make friends, build a network. Be conscious and deliberate about the people you choose to spend time with and allow to influence you both on and offline!

  • Susan Milligan

    Hear Hear!! Great advice in any part of living, I agree completely!

    Used to be that people would say “He's really a good kid, he's just hanging with a bad crowd.” Sorry, but he has become part of the makeup of that bad crowd. He is soon a bad kid. Ya' don't often hear he's really a bad kid he's just hanging with a good crowd. Bad grows like a weed.. Good has to be cultivated.

    Make that happen in your daily routine. Hang with the good crowd no matter what. Positive, upbeat, fun, assertive, ethical and fair people are simply the best in the world for themselves and for you.

  • http://chelpixie.com/ Chel Wolverton

    Makes one consider if they should revamp their lists/follows/etc.

    Might be time for a refresh on that.

  • http://www.officedeskreviews.com Lloyd Burrell

    # “Finally, prune out those friends who don’t necessarily bring good cheer to you from that private, secret, quiet list of those that do”

    There's a certain common sense and irony at the same time that this post got twitter reactions, because it just explains simply and clearly why and how social media sites have become marketing tools in the first place and friends-keeping tools in the second. Therefore, to show that I agree to it, I did the same thing: I retweeted it :).

    Lloyd Burrell
    Publisher
    Office Desk Reviews

  • http://katjaibur.posterous.com/ Kat Jaibur

    Posts like this are why I subscribe to your blog, Chris. Lots of good marketing info here, plus every now and then something that fuels the soul.

    Choosing the company we keep matters not only on social media, but in real life, too. And I would take that “company” a step further to include our thoughts. We are what we feed ourselves. Re your last line: We always have a choice as to who we listen to, who we take to heart, what we allow to influence us. Always. Today, I'm choosing thoughts that uplift. I have to. I'm having eye surgery tomorrow, and I can either torture myself with thoughts about how painful it was last time. Or focus on how grateful I am that I have the best doctors with the best technology to fix this before it escalates. That's my real job today. Choosing wisely.

  • http://www.superiorpromos.com Pablo Edwards

    Great reminder for us all. I can attest to both sides of the coin. I woke up one day and realized I was complaining about everything and bitter. I traced it back to a few people around me who had the same attitude so I deliberately separated from them and found a new group, who rubbed off nicely on me!

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  • JustinAtSmile.ly

    Nice post and a great message. This just comes to show how strong of an influence social media can have on us.

  • AmberNaslund

    I think there's also an unspoken follow on message here.

    I love this post, as I've been in the midst of cleaning up my own surroundings. And in doing so, I'm noting how some people are presenting themselves. Perhaps due to the company they're keeping. Perhaps due to other circumstances.

    But I think this is also a super great reminder about doing a check once in a while about how WE might be impacting others with our presence, attitude, and tone. I have people around me that, to your point, I otherwise care very much about, but that are really downers with their constant criticism, negativity, and complaining. I don't feel comfortable pointing it out to them as I don't feel it's my place, but it definitely impacts my desire to interact with them.

    So in addition to paying attention to what I consume and allow in, this is a great reminder to pay attention to what I put OUT into the networks that I'm so carefully cultivating.

  • http://www.officedeskreviews.com Lloyd Burrell

    # “Finally, prune out those friends who don’t necessarily bring good cheer to you from that private, secret, quiet list of those that do”

    There's a certain common sense and irony at the same time that this post got twitter reactions, because it just explains simply and clearly why and how social media sites have become marketing tools in the first place and friends-keeping tools in the second. Therefore, to show that I agree to it, I did the same thing: I retweeted it :).

    Lloyd Burrell
    Publisher
    Office Desk Reviews

  • http://www.officedeskreviews.com Lloyd Burrell

    # “Finally, prune out those friends who don’t necessarily bring good cheer to you from that private, secret, quiet list of those that do”

    There's a certain common sense and irony at the same time that this post got twitter reactions, because it just explains simply and clearly why and how social media sites have become marketing tools in the first place and friends-keeping tools in the second. Therefore, to show that I agree to it, I did the same thing: I retweeted it :).

    Lloyd Burrell
    Publisher
    Office Desk Reviews

  • AmberNaslund

    I think there's also an unspoken follow on message here.

    I love this post, as I've been in the midst of cleaning up my own surroundings. And in doing so, I'm noting how some people are presenting themselves. Perhaps due to the company they're keeping. Perhaps due to other circumstances.

    But I think this is also a super great reminder about doing a check once in a while about how WE might be impacting others with our presence, attitude, and tone. I have people around me that, to your point, I otherwise care very much about, but that are really downers with their constant criticism, negativity, and complaining. I don't feel comfortable pointing it out to them as I don't feel it's my place, but it definitely impacts my desire to interact with them.

    So in addition to paying attention to what I consume and allow in, this is a great reminder to pay attention to what I put OUT into the networks that I'm so carefully cultivating.

  • AmberNaslund

    I think there's also an unspoken follow on message here.

    I love this post, as I've been in the midst of cleaning up my own surroundings. And in doing so, I'm noting how some people are presenting themselves. Perhaps due to the company they're keeping. Perhaps due to other circumstances.

    But I think this is also a super great reminder about doing a check once in a while about how WE might be impacting others with our presence, attitude, and tone. I have people around me that, to your point, I otherwise care very much about, but that are really downers with their constant criticism, negativity, and complaining. I don't feel comfortable pointing it out to them as I don't feel it's my place, but it definitely impacts my desire to interact with them.

    So in addition to paying attention to what I consume and allow in, this is a great reminder to pay attention to what I put OUT into the networks that I'm so carefully cultivating.

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