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People have a huge impact on our life. According to popular research, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This means that those around us have an impact on how we think, how we behave, and in the long term, they could even affect how happy and successful in life we become.

Our life’s travelling companions tend to be drawn from family, friends and other people we come into contact with regularly. It also includes people we meet at the gym or any social groups we are involved with such as book circles, slimming clubs, golf clubs etc. Colleagues who we see every day can also have an effect on us, especially if we work closely with them, and have been in the same job for a long period. (See Anne’s post on Travelling Companions at Work)

When we start to notice the effect people have on us, the ones who have a positive effect on us automatically stand out. They make us smile, they make our spirits lift, and they are people who will inspire us to be our best in work or everyday life. They are people we gravitate towards as they make our daily life that bit brighter. They will help motivate us to achieve our goals, and encourage us to make the changes needed to succeed. They will give us positive feedback, and any criticism will be given in a kind and constructive way. They will also be there to cheer on our successes and achievements.

We will also notice the people who — for a variety of their own personal reasons — can’t or don’t add that positive sparkle to our lives. If they are people we love or care for, there are strategies we can use to encourage them to see life more positively. We can try steering the conversation to more uplifting things like a new film that’s out or recommend a good book or TV series that is interesting or funny. We can talk about things that the person enjoys and brings out the lighter side of them. If it’s a colleague, we could suggest organising a group walk with other members of staff at lunch-time, or loan the person some sort of motivational book or article to read, which we could chat about later.

The people we spend most time with should bring out the best in us and want the best for us. And, it goes without saying, we have to extend the same positivity and kindness towards others. What goes around, comes around!

Written by

Two takes on the same theme. Joint motivational blog for success at work and home by author Geraldine O’Neill and HR Consultant Anne Scally.

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