You can tell a lot about a person by who they spend time with.
I’m talking about the people you choose to listen to and do life with. Those are the people who tell me what your interests and passions are and where you’re likely headed.
If you think I’m suggesting that you should be exclusive and avoid some people at all costs, you’re right. I am. But I’m not talking about doing that on the basis of race, creed, gender, political affiliation, or economic status. I’m talking about eliminating the people from your inner circle who do not reflect who you want to become.
And here’s why:
Their thinking will infect your thinking.
Their limits will govern your capacity for growth.
Their focus will influence yours.
A very wise mentor told me that if I wanted to be successful, then I needed to spend time with successful people. I looked to surround myself with the people I wanted to become. And it has been a game changer.
When you spend a lot of time with someone, you:
Take on their view of the world
Adopt similar habits
Begin thinking in similar ways
These are all the elements that will influence what you believe is possible, what you ultimately desire, and what actions you’ll take. What you need to succeed in life can be learned through conversations and interactions with successful, balanced, and intentional people.
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE
Not every person you spend time with needs to have a corner office, big salary, and a prestigious title. Some of the most successful people don’t have any of those things. I would encourage you to look for people who:
Live with conviction about what they believe to be most important.
Act with conscience, understanding that every decision has a consequence—good or bad.
Possess a quiet confidence that the way they spend their days, weeks, months, and years is consistent with their divine design.
If you can find someone like that, spend as much time as you can with them. They have something of incredible value: passion. And passion is what separates those who live as though they are a victim of circumstance from those who use their circumstances to create the life they want and believe they are called to live.
This is why the leadership conference we hold at Southeastern each year is so important. I want every student—no matter where they’ve come from or where they’re going—to spend time with people who have accomplished great things, taken big risks, and seen enough success to realize what it takes to live in alignment with their purpose and mission. It’s critical to raising your awareness and expectation around what you believe is possible in your life.
Be disciplined about who you spend time with. Root out the people in your life who don’t share your commitment to personal growth and divine design. It may create an awkward conversation from time to time, but your journey will be enhanced, and the probability of you living into your life’s work will grow exponentially.