Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Be A Positive Influence

Last week, one of my role models (LeeAnne Locken) posted something great on her Facebook/Twitter account:

"Who you spend time with is who YOU become! If you spend time with people who are always unhappy, YOU WILL be unhappy! If you spend time with people who don't like to work, you will be unsuccessful! But if you look for people who you WANT to be like and spend time with them THAT is who you will become! It is easier for US to either lower or raise our standards then to try and have others adjust theirs! Look around your life today and SEE where you are headed! EVERY DAY there is an opportunity for CHANGE! Make it a WONDERFUL WINSday!!"

I love LeeAnne. She just gets it.

We all have our own role models out there that we look up to, and it's a shame to think that more young people do not look up to more positive influences, like LeeAnne , or many of the other motivational forces out there today. Could you imagine the possibilities if children started looking up to these individuals instead of some of these other "stars" out there? Or here's a thought...what if YOU started looking up to these individuals, and then your children started looking up to YOU. Takes on a whole new meaning now, huh?

How many of us are busy parents? How many of you are so busy with your careers or life outside the home that you almost "forget" that your kids are CONSTANTLY watching you? Now, we have all had a situation (maybe not with our own kids) where we have been sitting around with friends or family and out of nowhere we hear this cute, innocent little voice say, "Aw damn it!" Yep. Your kid picked up one of your bad habits (and sometimes it is SO hard not to laugh!)  Children are like sponges: they soak up EVERYTHING.

I remember one bad habit of my mother's that I imitated when I was 4 years old was smoking. This was back in the 80's, and my mom like many females out there, smoked. Well one day my mom was talking to her mother on the phone and she looked at me walking out of the kitchen with a pretzel rod, you guessed it, in between my fingers like a cigarette..."puffing" away. I said, "Look Mommy! I'm just like you!"  It was at that moment that I think my mom wised up, and began her journey to quit smoking (which she succeeded in doing, by the way). 

Sponges. We know they watch our every move. They are listening when you are talking poorly about others. They are listening when you fight with one another. They are always listening...so imagine...IMAGINE..the possibilities if we all became more positive.

Getting to the point of this post, we are who we surround ourselves with. LeeAnne made that clear in her post the other day...who you surround yourself with is who you will be. When you become an adult, your mind doesn't just magically stop becoming a sponge..it is still there..soaking in your external stimuli.  If you surround yourself with people who do NOTHING but GOSSIP and talk poorly on others, you will find yourself doing the same. If you surround yourself with people who constantly criticize themselves negatively, you will start to do the same. If you surround yourself with positive, upbeat individuals then guess what? Yup! That's contagious too!!

Cutting off the dead weight is a hard thing to do, but we have to realize that changing ourselves is a lot easier than changing someone else. Some people are just miserable; it's all they know how to be! You can try and push them in the right direction, but they are not going to change until they want to...and if that day isn't today, and you feel like changing TODAY, then it's time to cut those ties. Now, I'm not saying not be friends with those people, but become more cognisant of how you are when you are around them. Are you yourself? Do you find yourself lowering your standards in order to be on their level? Becoming aware of those things makes the shift much more simple.  If you can look at yourself when you are around certain people and say, "Ugh..I hate that" then why bother being around them so much? Why put yourself through that? Because remember, who we surround ourselves with is who we become...and then you become the dead weight people are trying to cut out of their lives. That becomes you!! Instead, be that source of motivation or inspiration. Be that friend that is hard to find, but that everyone wishes they had. Be that positive influence in someone's life today..and above it all: make today something special for yourself that you could look at and be proud of someone imitating.

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