If you want to be excellent and your objectives are significant then you want to be around people with similar goals, accomplishments and dreams. Many of us learned this through the transition from high school to college. Coming home on holidays or breaks, you would see the friends who decided not to go away for college. Whether they began working, they started a 24/7 party life, or even started a family. Their goals, dreams and even personalities began to drift from your own. You come home to visit and spend less and less time with these childhood friends. Now, as an adult, they may be your friend on Facebook or Instagram, but they are usually a far cry from some of the people you connect with on professional levels. This process is usually something one does not notice, but it happens to most of us. We generally prune our relationships naturally in order to grow individually.
If you wake up and notice that you are keeping some company you probably shouldn’t. Stop! Don’t dumb down. Dumbing down is acting less intelligent than you really are in order to be accepted by a person or group of people. Try to be around people with aspirations, life goals, outlooks, drive and determination similar to yours. Smarten up!
Now, to be clear, I am not saying that you should not help your friends, or provide support or mentoring for others. After all, helping others and keeping bad company are two different things. You can’t help bad company. If your friend is overly negative, unproductive, and lazy and mean, they probably cannot benefit from your help.
On the other hand, consider friends who don’t have the education you have, for example. They may not know the crux of how to get into college, or they may not think they can afford it. As their friend, you should assuredly go out of your way to help them find a good school, teach them about financial aid, even go as far as going to the school with them or helping them fill out applications. Helping those who help themselves is always a win-win!
Sometimes, however, you may not have the time or the tools to pull someone up. You wouldn’t pull over and give someone the last of the gas in your car because then you couldn’t go anywhere. Helping others should be a conscious decision that does not affect you negatively in the long run. If you want to help people, great! But what about self-preservation? I would not want to help others so much that in doing so, it causes me to be only mediocre. If I accomplish my goals and objectives, I am better equipped to help others.
Generally, hang around people who are like-minded and, in which, the relationship is mutually beneficial. Don’t hang around people who cannot help you get to where you want to be. Consciously helping someone is fine, but don’t get caught in the web of being drained negatively by friends and associates.