Every year as the calendar changes I pay attention to the season’s most popular resolutions. This year I have noticed that a lot of people are trying to “do more with less”. I have seen 30-day social media blackout challenges, and pledges to shed things that are not productive or beneficial. I think this is fantastic, and strive to maintain this attitude all year long. As January draws to a close and the diets are abandoned and Facebook re-downloaded, I want to urge everyone to keep up with the attitude of self care, particularly when it comes to the people you surround yourself with.
Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to overuse the phrase “keep it in the family.” When I say “family”, I am not just referring to my relatives, but rather to anyone who I have deemed worth of my time and attention. Over the past few decades, I have come to appreciate the importance of strictly monitoring and maintaining my personal and business relationships. If I am going to trust someone, let them become close to me, and most importantly, let them influence me, they need to offer more good than bad. Building a strong family is not only satisfying, but has also been significant factor in my success.
The characteristics that I prioritize include a good work ethic, high moral standards, a strong character, and ambition. If someone displays those qualities, they join my circle. I prioritize my circle, flying to their defense and putting their wants on needs on par with my own. A few weeks ago I argued that discrimination against poor personal qualities can be beneficial to society. In my own life, I discriminate against people who do not possess qualities that serve me. If someone does not display those qualities, or if they change into someone that doesn’t fit my standards, I cut them out, and I am ruthless about it.
I had a friend in college who for all intents and purposes was a great guy. 20 years ago he was a part of my circle. He was a trust-fund kid, and if you read my previous entry you know that the lack of adversity trust funds afford can be difficult to overcome. As time went on and everyone I knew worked hard toward success, his apathy grew and his career plateaued. Finally, after a few ill-received attempts to motivate him, he was cast out of my circle. That may sound harsh to anyone with long-time friends, and I certainly do not advocate abandoning a friend in a time of need, but if someone in your circle takes more than they give, and shows no desire to change or improve, you should let them go without an ounce of guilt.
Be cognizant of the people you let in, and avoid the people who do not have your best interests in mind. This is how you build a strong team, and it is something you should do all year long.