The Magic Circle
When I was a teenager, I remember my peers saying things like and please excuse the crudeness of this next statement, “If she is a hoe, then her friend must be one too”. I strongly disagreed with this statement (and still do to some extent). I thought it is very possible to be friends with someone who has a different lifestyle to you and still not be influenced by it.
The older I have become, the more I realised that the latter statement doesn’t necessarily present reality. My mother would always say ‘mind the company you keep’, ‘yeast works through a batch of dough’ or ‘Iron sharpens Iron’. These idioms didn’t come out of thin air, they came as a result of noticing the patterns within of a group of people or things.
If you think those in your immediate circle do not affect what you do and how you do it then think again.
In fact as I am writing this I just remembered a recent incident that occurred between my friends and I.
We were in Mexico for a friend’s wedding and on one of the free days, we had a fun filled day with different activities. Quad biking, zip lining, jumping into the river from different heights, it was a lot, but a fantastic day nonetheless!
One of the activities, although you had a choice on whether you wanted to do it or not, was zip lining and or jumping from different heights into the river(Fresh water). Now I am a new swimmer, so I’m not at all confident.
My friend Ref is a incredibly adventurous (she beats me hands down), a thrill seeker if you will. She is game for almost anything. She had been jumping in and out of the river and had already been on the zip line.
I didn’t want to be a punk and leave Mexico without pushing my boundaries. I too decided to get on the zip line, fear will not make me its b*tch.
What possessed me to do it? Well aside from my desire, my friend with her zest for life did it for me. There were times during the trip in Mexico where she would encourage me to try things I was apprehensive about doing, but it was her fearlessness and action that sealed the deal for me. If she can do it, then so can I and I did.
Which brings me to my next point, I had another friend with me who couldn’t swim at all, Remi. We are like two peas in a pod, out of us, I am the more daring one. After my first go at zip line, guess who wanted to do it too? She did. I nearly fell on my face when she said she wanted to do it, but not wanting scare her, I didn’t make a big deal out of it at the time.
Need I remind you that she CANNOT swim, we went towards zip line, “1, 2, 3 GO!” off we went and down we ascended. To say I was a proud friend was an understatement; the act represented so many things for me. After being friends for nearly 15 years, I was happy to know that we were still in this race together not just physically but mentally.
Would she have done it, if I hadn’t done it first? Would I have done it, if Ref hadn’t done it before me? The answer to that question is likely to be a hell no!
If your friends are perpetually broke, the chances are (if you are not already there), that you will follow suit. It’s just like how we adopt our parents characteristics or do the things commonly done in our community. For example, why do people from a particular background or area, join gangs? It is what is done and for them like a rite of passage, what they are “supposed to do”. In the same way if you’re from a Nigerian background, university is a given.
Millionaires attract and hang around with other millionaires. Naturally their finances will increase. Why? Because they share their knowledge and expertise with one another, and often times collaborate.
Married people associate themselves with other married people, it’s a no brainer. Even if there is an anomaly amongst the group that is single, or in the relationship, the chances are high that the end result will be marriage.
You become what you see or are in association with.
Creatives hang around with other creative people, and if you are one and you don’t, I can guarantee than your production rate is minimal because there aren’t others like you to heighten that desire and inspire you.
If you have friends that are always late, you’re probably always late too, and if you’re not, then you’ll soon join them. I can vouch for that, my mother’s sense of timing is way off, so you can imagine mine isn’t fantastic,although I am working on it ( I promise).
By no means am I saying ditch your current friends, I am however, encouraging you to expand your network of friends, partnerships and associations.
When advancing onto the next level and there is no one like minded around you, you must then brace it alone.
Years ago I started attending events alone. The result is I now have no problem being in strange environments alone and can thrive in them. Once upon a time asking a passerby a question was a challenge.
Go to where you want to be. Don’t wait for that ‘time’ or when you ‘make it’, do it now! Until you arrive (whatever arriving means to you) saturate your life with the things that reinforce your aspirations. There have been many a time where I have felt and overwhelming sense of despair based on my environment alone.
Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course, but if you are trying to achieve something quickly then get around those who are achieving and living it, fast. If not, you will continue to remain where have always been.
Shout out to my friend Sam, who was inspired to begin writing again and start his blog www.theskepticalromantic.wordpress.com because he came across mine 🙂
Still think it’s not that important?
P.s the feature image is Remi and I.