2017-08-31 / Columns

‘What About Those Characters You’re Hanging Around With?’

Think Outside, No Box Needed
By Jim Plouffe

I have been writing about cartoon characters the last few weeks, mainly to point out that there isn’t much difference between cartoon characters and real life; except that cartoon characters can recover from anything that happens to them, but we can’t.

Your character is who you are. Most of your friends know who you are; even people who aren’t your friends know what type of character you are. But do you know what type of character you are? We know what type of character you are because we have observed what you do and how you do it. We notice things about you that you think we don’t. We notice things about you that you may not have even noticed about yourself.

So are the good and bad things about your character the results of the people you spend time with? Is that why you are friends with the people you are friends with, because you have the same type of character? Or is it the other way around? Do your friends spend time with you because you accept the character they are?

Are your bad habits the reason your friends like you, or are your friends’ bad habits the reason you like them? Who sets the bar, and how high is it for the people that you spend your time with?

Your habits tell us something about your willpower, determination, and future. It tells how concerned you are about your health, and what kind of example and standards you are setting for the people who look up to you.

My friend, Damian Mason, just published a new book titled “Brutal Truth, Unfiltered Talk, Unfluffy Wisdom.” In the section under people, he had this to say about the people you surround yourself with:

• Peer pressure is only bad if your peers are.

• Hanging around dumb people might make you feel smart, but it seldom makes you feel good.

• There are people determined to hold you back. Some of them are disguised as friends.

• Those attempting to make you feel guilty for what you have, want what you have.

• Hanging around bitter, jaded, judgmental people will likely make you bitter, jaded, and judgmental, so why do it?

Damian’s book is full of additional truth and wisdom.

I have said for years, half jokingly and half truthfully, “Regrettably, all of the high paying jobs start before I get up in the morning.” I have been successful enough in my past and current career to not really have that saying apply to me, but it serves as a warning to most of us to get up and get going if we want to succeed.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” That was a warning also about how important it is to have integrity if you have power or control over other people.

I think that your habits come from the characters you relate to and associate with. Maybe it’s time to examine some of your relationships and move on. As I’ve said in the past, “Make no useless friends” and “friends who support your bad habits are useless.” As Damian Mason said, “There are people determined to hold you back. Some of them are disguised as friends.”

Jim is a mission, management, and marketing expert. If you are unhappy with the status quo of your business, department, or personal achievement, call (906) 643-6643 or e-mail jim@ThinkOutsideNoBoxNeeded.co m. Jim is available for speeches and presentations to your company or organization and one-on-one executive coaching and business consulting.

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