Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are

“Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.”

“Birds of the same feather flock together.”

“Guilty by association”

“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.”

I’m sure you’ve heard one of these sayings before. People interpret these proverbs in many different ways. At first glance you may think “my friends do this and I don’t, so you can’t judge me off of my friends”. If you are thinking along these lines then stop!  If you tell me this about your friends it tells me that you are an excepting person of people of various lifestyles, not that you necessarily share the same lifestyle as your friend. This saying is not always about passing judgement or stereotyping people.  Simply that you are a product of your environment. How could someone not be? It’s your life experiences everyday that make you who you are. Try to grasp the greater understanding of these sayings.

Those friends that you share your life with contribute to those experiences and help create that person and character that you are.  The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. We know the people that bring us down in life. We know the people that lift us up, because in their presence we want to become better people. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. One characteristic I’ve seen in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

As you excel in life (let’s hope you are), your friends and acquaintances will change.  Some of your friends will resist this and not want you to go on. They remain stagnant in life and will want you to as well. Sometimes they may excel later on in life and never look back at you to provide the company you once provided them. I see this a lot, but this is a another topic of discussion. Friends that don’t help you up will want you to remain stagnant with them. Your friends will expand your vision or choke your dream.

“Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.”

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