Evaluating Your Associations (Part One)

If you were to evaluate the major influences in your life that have shaped the kind of person you are, this has to be high on the list: the people and thoughts you choose to allow into your life. Mr. Shoaff gave me a very important warning in those early days that I would like to share with you. He said, "Never underestimate the power of influence." Indeed, the influence of those around us is so powerful! Many times we don't even realize we're being strongly affected because influences generally develop over an extended period of time.

Peer pressure is an especially powerful force because it is so subtle. If you're around people who spend all they make, chances are excellent that you'll spend all you make. If you are around people who go to more ball games than concerts, chances are excellent that you'll do the same thing. If you are around people who don't read, chances are excellent that you won't read.

People can keep nudging us off course a little at a time until finally, we find ourselves asking, "How did I get here?" Those subtle influences need to be studied carefully if we really want our lives to turn out the way we've planned.

With regard to this important point, let me give you three key questions to ask yourself. They may help you to make better analysis of your current associations.

Here is the first question: "Who am I around?" Make a mental note of the people with whom you most often associate. You've got to evaluate everybody who is able to influence you in any way.

The second question is: "What are these associations doing to me?" That's a major question to ask. What have they got me doing? What have they got me listening to? What have they got me reading? Where have they got me going? What do they have me thinking? How have they got me talking? How have they got me feeling? What have they got me saying? You've got to make a serious study of how others are influencing you, both negatively and positively.

Here's a final question: "Is that okay?" Maybe everyone you associate with has been a positive, energizing influence. Then again, maybe there are some bad apples in the bunch. All I'm suggesting here is that you take a close and objective look. Everything is worth a second look, especially the power of influence. Both will take you somewhere, but only one will take you in the direction you need to go.

It's easy to just dismiss the things that influence our lives. One man say's, "I live here, but I don't think it matters. I'm around these people, but I don't think it hurts." I would take another look at that. Remember, everything matters! Sure, some things matter more than others, but everything amounts to something. You've got to keep checking to find out whether your associations are tipping the scales toward the positive or toward the negative. Ignorance is never the best policy. Finding out is the best policy.

Perhaps you've heard the story of the little bird. He had his wing over his eye and he was crying. The owl said to the bird, "You are crying." "Yes," said the little bird, and he pulled his wing away from his eye. "Oh, I see," said the owl. "You're crying because the big bird pecked out your eye." And the little bird said, "No, I'm not crying because the big bird pecked out my eye. I'm crying because I let him."

It's easy to let influence shape our lives, to let associations determine our direction, to let pressures overwhelm us, and to let tides take us. The big question is, are we letting ourselves become what we wish to become?

Next week we'll take a look at the three forms of disassociating from negative influences. Until then,

To Your Success,

Jim Rohn

Reproduced with permission from Jim Rohn's Weekly E-zine. Copyright 2005 Jim Rohn International. All rights reserved worldwide. To subscribe to Jim Rohn's Weekly E-zine, go to http://Jim-Rohn.InspiresYOU.com

In The News:

A Virtual Success  happi.com
Summer success  Scottish Grocer and Convenience Retailer

Nine Sure Fire Ways to Boost Your Career

1. Differentiate yourself using a Personal Value Proposition. A PVP... Read More

How To Start, Survive, and Finish Your Journey To Super Success

"The more you hate, the more you love."What an ironic... Read More

Better Instead of Bitter

I have been studying several books lately that deal with... Read More

Avoid The Thirteen Habits of a Failure

Jim Rohn, the success guru and mentor, said, "Failure is... Read More

Identify and Remedy Work Addiction

Work addiction is an unrestrained, unfulfillable internal demand for constant... Read More

Smith Could ?C? the Future

Frederick W. Smith attended Yale University and wrote a paper... Read More

Magical Houseplants

Whenever I'm feeling stuck in a rut, I go out... Read More

Gracefully Accepting Feedback a Key Employment Skill

With the long-term trend of protecting employees' individual self esteem... Read More

Like A One-Eyed Cat Peeping In A Seafood Store

Want to be successful in whatever it is you choose... Read More

Nothing In-Between

Are you on the right track?Stop for a while, look... Read More

What Do You Know?

"When I think back on all the crap I learned... Read More

Swotting for Success

Not so long ago, I impressed the daylights out of... Read More

The Human Instincts

The gambling instinct is in every man or woman. All... Read More

A Stop On the Road of Life

With three kids, a business, a husband with a business,... Read More

Failure IS an option.

I wrote an article on this very subject, with the... Read More

Catching the W.A.V.E.s of Greatness

Greatness is all around us. From Oprah to Bill Gates... Read More

Dont Assume You Cant Do it, Just Because Conventional Wisdom Says you Cant

Be weary and leery when it comes to standardized tests... Read More

How I Changed The World

There is no substitute for direct personal application. Information or... Read More

Run Towards Fear: A Prescription for Success

Fear, or negative anxiety, is the modern day bubonic plague,... Read More

Success Takes Practice

As a speaker and trainer, people often approach me after... Read More

Succeed !

Are you successful? What does that word mean to you?... Read More

The 8th Habit Covey Forgot - The Making of an Expert!

I could labor the idea but then that would only... Read More

Plan to Succeed

Have you ever made plans in your career but never... Read More

Top 5 Sources of Energy Drain

Along with time and money, energy is one of your... Read More

The Importance of Listening Skills for Self Improvement and Success

Effective listening is almost certainly the most important communication skill,... Read More