This is a poster that Carla has in her home that I find completely inspiring. So I made her take a picture of it for me so that I could have it on hand at all times. These values are something that I try my very best to live by. Even letter A: Avoid negative sources, people, places, things, and habits makes a good point and is a great place to start. It personally gives me strength.
"We are our thoughts, we are the company we keep, we are a product of our environment, and we are what we eat." As most of you know these are sayings that I repeat over and over again because they're so true!
I'm reminded of a very sad example that I believe I learned from one of the TEDtalks that I watched, which talked about gifted children and their not-so-gifted counterparts. Well apparently some scientists wanted to see if the children's intelligence was completely unique, or if it was really because of their wonderful classes, topnotch teachers, and of course uplifting compliments given by their fellow peers and professors. So the scientists switched the kids, without the teachers knowing. They put the gifted kids that were getting high marks in the lower-end classes, and then they put the children with the poor grades in the gifted classes. Sure enough, the results began to shift. The "intelligent" children started to struggle and fail, and vice versa, the "untalented" children began to achieve greatness.
So the lesson from this unfortunate experiment is that we are our thoughts and we start to evolve based on the people we are surrounded by. Every person deserves equal opportunities, but of course we cannot control all circumstances. However we can control some. Do you have habits that lift you up, or bring you down? Do you respect yourself and try your best to achieve your dreams? Do you surround yourself with like-minded people that inspire you, or are you hanging with the wrong crowd?
This also reminds me of a great story my friend once told me. He knows a confident man that lives his dreams by doing exactly what he wants to do, and just allows for circumstances to unfold by themselves. So this guy decided that he wanted to live in one of the most posh apartment complexes in San Francisco. He saved up all he could for one months' rent and moved in. "Dude! You're mad and you can't afford this," my friend told him. But he kindly explained to my friend that within one months' time he would be fine, because he would make friends with all of his neighbors. Why is that important? Well, because they could all afford to live in this expensive place, so associating with these like-minded people would help him succeed. Sure enough, one of his neighbors got him a job at their company and now it's all history. So if he didn't have the confidence to try, he would have never had the opportunity to succeed. Yes, we do choose the company we keep and others impact us more than we think, so we have to take responsibility for who we keep close.