If you’ve been paying any attention to our blog over the past few months we’ve mentioned our friend Thanh a time or two.  I met Thanh at a conference in Las Vegas some years back.  We hit it off as friends almost immediately there was lots of synergy between our interests in personal growth and in expanding our entrepreneurial business ventures.  The vibe was great from the get-go.  But what I didn’t realize at that time was the immense, long-term productive impact our relationship with Thanh would have on our personal and professional growth.

With Thanh’s support as a friend, I have launched successful coaching courses, recorded valuable interviews, redesigned our website, and more or less supercharged our ability to make a positive impact in the world which happens to be our #1 goal at all times. The bottom line is that Thanh is a part of our tribe, and we’re extremely grateful to know him. I’m sure you have people in your life that you feel a similar way about.

Only Some People Lift You Higher

As my mom used to say to me when I was a kid, “You are who you spend your time with.”  It wasn’t until I was in my late-twenties that I fully grasped what she was trying to say to me.  I learned the hard way that the people you surround yourself with either lift you higher or bring you down they energize you or drain you they support you or criticize you they make you smile or make you cry.

So right here, right now, make it a goal to spend more time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Remember that relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, or simply the wrong people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.

It’s all about finding your people!  That’s the one thing you should know…

The people in your life make all the difference in the person YOU are capable of being.

A Relationship’s Effect on Your Happiness

Your mindset and outlook in life is the most important thing in determining your level of happiness, but your relationships with others can drastically support your happiness quotient.  Most people don’t realize the impact the type of people they surround themselves with has on their overall well-being.

Over the past decade, Marc and I have interviewed and coached thousands of people from around the word, and we’ve spent a great deal of time studying the factors that play the largest role in these people’s happiness.  One of our key findings is this: the close, loving relationships people have with others is vitally important.  The happiest people we’ve worked with live very close to family (or even with family members) or have close friends nearby (and many have both).  When Marc and I realized this several years back, it really hit home with us as we had been living far away from close family and friends for several years.  Since then, we’ve moved home to Florida so we could be closer to our loved ones.  We wanted to surround ourselves with people who loved us, supported us, and believed in us, and we wanted to be able to do the same for them.

1.  Learn to enjoy your own company.

Ironically, the prerequisite to building healthy relationships is being comfortable when you’re all by yourself.  If you’re starting fresh, with a minimal number of friends in your immediate vicinity, the reason for this is obvious: spending time alone is your only option.  Likewise, if you have friends that have been dragging you down and negatively impacting your life, withdrawing from them and starting anew will likely require a bit more alone time.

Appreciating solitude starts with the conscious awareness of the freedom it brings.  When you enjoy your own company you don’t need others around for the sake of having others around.  You can be flexible about who you choose to spend time with, instead of letting your fear of being alone suck you into social situations and relationships that aren’t right for you.

2.  Make time for the important people in your life, and be 100% present.

The healthiest relationships are comprised of two people who are intimately familiar with each other’s evolving stories.  These people make plenty of emotional room for their relationship, which means they sincerely listen to each other, they remember the major events each other have been through, and they keep up-to-date as the facts and feelings of each other’s reality changes. The key thing to remember is that nothing you can give is more appreciated than your sincere, focused attention your full presence.  Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of the next event is the ultimate compliment.  It is indeed the most valued gesture you can make to them, and it arms you with the information you need to truly know them and support them in the long run.

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