I ran into some old friends last weekend, and immediately I felt a new sense of energy – catching my ‘second wind’ after a rather tiring morning. I think this happened for two reasons: one, simply because I was happy to see them, and two, because they’re very successful.

I won’t get into the types of successes they’ve achieved, because that’s irrelevant: we all carry different definitions of success in different areas (finance, health, leadership, relationships, all of the above…). The point is that these people make me want to be my best.

I’ve taken many positive steps on many levels, simply because of my social affiliations: whether it’s because of the bits of wisdom I picked up through their conversations, or because I observed their actions and successes – which made me want to do the same, or simply because I felt good in their presence (positive psychology research tells us, not surprisingly, that we’re just plain more effective in every aspect when we’re feeling good).

So who do you surround yourself with? Who contributes to your happiness and success by just ‘being there’?

And on the other side of the coin, I’m sure we can all relate to the opposite. Who brings you down through their negativity? Who doesn’t set the bar high enough for themselves or for you? Who around you settles for mediocrity, and how does this affect your sense of drive and hope?

We can’t always choose all of the people in our lives, of course, but we can exercise discretion with the choices we are able to make. Who are you now, and where are you going? What kinds of people do you need in your life to help pave the way?

And, of course, all this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be caring, helping, and supportive people – but it’s really about how we manage the flow of energy. Are you often left feeling depleted because you give out more than you receive – or do you have a strong reciprocal flow and reserve of positive energy in your life?

Author's Bio: 

Chris Hammer, Ph.D. is a certified professional coach and licensed psychologist. He offers leadership and life coaching services, as well as various self-development tools for people who are passionate about reaching higher levels of success and becoming the best they can be.

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