Who you are determines how you view other people. It also determines how you respond to life’s typical ups and downs. When you know yourself you’ll have a much better understanding of why you react the way you do to the people in your life and the circumstances those people create for you.
So the question becomes how exactly do we truly know ourselves? There are a number of factors that make you who are but here are the two with the biggest impact:
Your experiences in life. Every person you’ve ever met, everything you’ve ever done, both good and bad, everything you’ve learned and everything you believe has helped shape who you are.
The people and events of your life have a huge impact on your self-image. That’s why it is critical that you make good choices about the people you allow into your life. No matter how strong you believe yourself to be, no matter how principled a life you think you live, no matter your level of self-discipline, you WILL be influenced by the people around you. Those people will determine, at least to some extent, what, when and how you experience the events that make up your life.
Choose your friends & associates well because they help make you who you are. If you really want to know yourself then watch the people who are closest to you. You are basically a compilation of the four to six people that you spend the most time with. Watch and listen to them and you will know yourself.
The second major factor that determines who you are is your attitude about those life experiences.
Most people don’t think about this often enough but the fact is that your attitude is your choice. It’s ALWAYS your choice. ALWAYS!
Bad things can happen to good people. The most successful and happy people CHOOSE to look for the good in nearly every life experience. Even the bad ones.
For those of you who sometimes doubt whether your attitude is really your choice I fully understand. It can be really challenging to maintain a positive attitude and easy to forget that it’s a choice. It’s even harder when the people you spend the most time with aren’t helping you.
If you’re hanging around with people who refuse to choose a positive attitude then you are very unlikely to have or be able to maintain a positive attitude yourself. And that’s a big deal!
It’s a big deal because the attitude you keep has perhaps more impact on your success than any other single factor. If people, like your boss maybe, are telling you that you need an attitude adjustment what that really means is you probably need to change the people you consider friends and associates.
The hard truth is that most people find it nearly impossible to make the choice of a positive attitude when fed constant doses of negativity. It’s possible but highly unlikely.
No one wants to be thought of as negative but if you’re too often expressing negative viewpoints then people may begin to see you as negative…and they may just be right. Hang around with positive people and they will let you know when you’ve forgotten to make the choice of a positive attitude.
You may not like to hear it but it is a vital part of truly knowing yourself.