It has been said that we are a product of the five people that we hang out with the most. Who are these heroes? Taken one step further, this means that we each are a product of those influences that have the greatest and most consistent access to us.
In our current world, those influencers that sell us include people both living and dead, music, TV, movies, internet, books, magazines, school, parents, talk-radio, the news and every other form of media communications. We now live in the new media marketplace where the rules have changed. Regarding the above statement, I believe the word product was chosen carefully instead of the word sum because all of these influencers tend to converge in constantly changing, unlimited permutations. The manner in which we are impacted is far greater than a simple summary of each influencer.
Today, the relevance and potential impact of these influencers is far greater than at any other time in history. The internet is the key. The world is at our doorstep and every segment of it is vying for our attention. A wide body of information, until just recently, was relatively inaccessible. Now, this same information is at our fingertips. The experiences and opinions of other people, even in distant lands, are instantly available. Research material, white papers, statistics, facts and figures and general information relating to even the smallest detail are all available from web sites, blogs, RSS feeds and other media outlets. Audio and video have been transformed as people are now moving from the fixed location of their living rooms to anywhere their mobility affords, enjoying content of all types via the web on a wide range of devices. Today, it is easy to be influenced by virtually limitless sources, all competing for our attention.
Accordingly, our self-talk and subconscious minds are constantly being bombarded by influencers, competing for that steering wheel directing our path. That fact is not necessarily negative. Combined with purposefully-chosen, written goals, these influencers offer a tremendous aid in realizing rapid achievement of our goals, consistently providing course corrections on our chosen direction and destination. In the absence of clear, well-defined and written goals however, these same influencers can combine to create a state of chaos. It may even become dangerous. If we do not choose our path, someone or something else certainly will. We must learn the value of self-determination.
Who are we? What makes us? What drives us? Our values and beliefs shape us at our very core. As a result, we will act in accordance with our internal compass. To do otherwise, to violate our conscience, will certainly cause great stress and distress in our life. These same values and beliefs will help us to focus on those influencers that will direct and guide us on our life journey, while rejecting those influencers that are contrary or hostile to us. We also have the gift of choice which affords us the ability to say no to certain influencers that we know are not congruent with our values. Fortunately, much of this decision -making occurs at a subconscious level, quietly driving us in the direction of our chosen destination and goals.
We can aid this process considerably by proactively deciding upon what we will allow to influence us. We can place ourselves in the path of the influencers that we choose, ignoring those we deem undesirable. Long ago, I made a conscious decision to avoid people with negative attitudes, to fill my head with positive, uplifting and motivating self-talk and to associate with people that are like-minded. That decision, which pushed me in a desirable direction, encouraging and fostering positive growth, has led me to my later choices of friends, work, books, TV, movies, magazines, etc… and has overall impacted me in a positive manner. My choices produce and become my consequences.
Though we cannot avoid the relentless bombardment of our senses, we can dynamically filter and choose those influences which will allow us to reach our maximum potential while rejecting the remainder. It is our choice to determine the five people that we hang out with the most.
How will you spend your time? Who and what is spending it with you? What is happening to you in the process?