Jeff Keller and The Japanese Red Crowned Cranes

6 01 2008

Image by wildphotons

Its an amazing thing how humans imitate their surroundings. Some behavioral scientists say, this dates back to prehistoric ages. Humans were natural mimics so that they fend off any extra attention on them when in groups. In simple terms, being with the crowd helped them to leverage on the advantage of numbers. Interesting, isn’t it!

Scott Adams, the famous cartoon strip Dilbert writer, illustrates this point further in his book The Religion War .As for me, it never had been more right. Right from my childhood I found myself, imitating the best handwriting around. When I was in Grade 6, I subconsciously imitated by Mathematics instructor’s flowery handwriting. When in Grade 8, again another switch came. I started imitating one of friends bold stroke filled handwriting. A switch in Grade 10 and Grade 12, subsequently proved this point. Handwriting is one point, but who knows subconsciously we are affecting, changing,evolving every moment of our living day imitating somebody. Maybe the best, maybe the most loved one, maybe….whatever. This is good in one very different way, we conform to standards, we conform to the crowd and everything is hunky-dory. But have you ever wondered, if it can ever backfire us. Didn’t get it yet? Wait, let me explain. If I am imitating my environment, then I am imitating its good things as well as bad things. When I imitate my friends’ vocabulary, then I unwittingly draw myself a bit more similar to them. But when the people around me are not exactly what they say, as positive, doesn’t it hamper my own survival to a huge extent?

I believe it is. So the essential point was, if we imitate the people around us, which we always do, then why don’t we make it sure, that our company is a positive, booming, healthy, creative one. After all, like attracts like, so when we try to stick around with them, we will have no choice than being a far different positive image, a shining example of the power of company. It’s amazing what people around can do to us.

The title image, demonstrates a very important thing. These are the Japanese Red Crowned cranes, flying in a flock for migration, I believe. But the interesting thing is, when they fly together, in absolute sync, which they always do, the entire flock creates such a huge lift for themselves that they even pull the loose snow out of the ground, brewing up a small storm. Its even interesting to know that the personal effort they apply in a flock, is around 30-40% lesser when they are flying alone. Powerful stuff, this positivity eh?

Jeff Keller has an interesting thing to mention about the company you keep. For the uninitiated, let me say a word a two for Jeff. Jeff is a highly successful motivational and life success speaker. He has written a million copy selling motivational book, Attitude is Everything. In this article of his, he rehashes the previous point in a far more exacting detail. Read on!

Associate With Positive People
By Jeff Keller, Author of the best-seller Attitude is Everything

Have you ever heard the phrase, “We become part of what we are around?.” Have you given much thought to how this principle has been molding and shaping your life? It’s worth thinking about. The people you associate with have a profound affect on how you feel and what you’ll ultimately achieve.I’m sure most of you have heard this principle before. Some of you have heard it a hundred times. But this is one of those areas where there is a large gap between theory and practice. In other words, you know it’s important to limit involvement with negative people, yet you continue to hang around with them.By the way, I’m not talking about your relationship with your spouse or significant other. I’m referring to discretionary relationships, both at work and in your leisure hours

In today’s literature, we frequently see the terms toxic people and nourishing people. As you might expect, toxic people are the ones who always dwell on the negative. The dictionary defines toxic as “poisonous” toxic people continually spew their verbal poison. In contrast, the dictionary definition of nourishing is “to nurture or promote the growth of.” Nourishing people are positive and supportive. They lift your spirits and are a joy to be around.Negative people will always drag you down to their level. They hammer away at you with all of the things you can’t do and all of the things that are impossible. They barrage you with gloomy statements about the lousy economy, the problems in their lives, the problems soon to be in your life, and the terrible prospects for the future. If you’re lucky, they might even throw in a few words about their aches and pains and recent illnesses

After listening to toxic people, you feel listless, depressed and drained. Psychologist Jack Canfield describes them as “energy vampires” — they suck all the positive energy out of you. One thing is certain: these “vampires” will wear you down and kill your dreams. On the other hand, how do you feel when you are around people who are positive, enthusiastic and supportive? I’ll bet that you are encouraged and inspired. You start to pick up their attitude, and you feel as if you have added strength to vigorously pursue your own goals. If you had a choice, wouldn’t you rather hang out with nourishing people? Well, in fact, you DO have a choice. It’s up to you to determine who you spend your time with. If toxic people surround you in your daily life, you can do something about it

To begin with, develop friendships and associations with people who are positive and supportive. In addition, seek out people who are action-oriented and service-oriented. As you spend more and more time in the company of people who have these traits, you, too, will develop the same successful characteristics and put them to use in your life. Consider who you have been spending your time with. Examine your friendships and relationships at work and during your leisure hours. Those who occupy your time have a significant impact on your most priceless possession … your mind! It is your responsibility to regulate what you allow into your mind

Here are some steps you can take to be more responsible in this area:

If you regularly have lunch with toxic people at work, stop it. You should be able to find a diplomatic way of extricating yourself from this “poisonous” group

If you have a toxic relative (which could be your mother, father, son or daughter), it is important to put some limits on your involvement with them. This does not mean that you abandon this relative and never speak to him or her. However, you should not go out of your way to call that person several times each day if he or she is going to put you down or fill the conversation with negative remarks

Form your own positive group with friends or colleagues. Make a commitment to meet with these people on a regular basis ( e.g., once a week or once a month) to discuss goals, exchange ideas and offer support. These should be people who accept you as you are and yet challenge you to be the best that you can be

In case you’re wondering, I’m in favor of trying to help friends who are negative. I think we should make efforts to steer them in a more positive direction. But if we’ve been trying for the last 9 years and the person insists on being negative, maybe it’s time to severely limit the amount of time we spend with that person – or to stop spending any time with that individual

As you increase your associations with nourishing people, you will feel better about yourself and about your ability to achieve your goals. You’ll become a more positive, upbeat person – the kind of person others love to be around. I used to think that it was important to associate with positive people and to limit involvement with negative people. Now, I believe that it is essential if you want to be a high-achiever and a happy individual. By the way, as you continue to associate with positive people, the law of attraction starts to kick in. That law states that LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE. When you are positive, you’ll attract more positive people into your life. Of course, if you are NEGATIVE, you’ll attract negative people. So, surround yourself with positive, nourishing people – they will lift you up the ladder of success

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