Dr. David McClelland of Harvard University concluded after 25 years of research that the choice of a negative “reference group” was in itself enough to condemn a person to failure and under achievement in life.
His discovery indicates that your reference group is more important in determining your success or failure than any other single factor.
“Associations are both subtle and powerful.” – Jim Rohn
Your associations don’t shove you in a direction. They nudge you ever so slightly over time. Influence is so subtle that it is like being on an inner tube in the ocean. You feel like you are floating still, until you look up and realize the current has pushed you half a mile down the shore.
Jim Rohn explains: “You will become the combined average of the five people you hang around the most. You will have the combined attitude, health and income of the five people you hang around the most.”
Sound harsh? Face it – The truth IS harsh. I know, you already know this. How do I know? Because you vigilantly guard with whom your children associate. (You do, don’t you?) Why? Because you know they will become like those they hang out with. This isn’t just true for your kids – it’s true for you, too!
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain
This is something to think about when negative people are doing their best to rain on your parade. So remember this story the next time someone who knows nothing and cares less tries to make your life miserable.
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A woman was at her hairdresser’s getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded:
“Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It’s crowded and dirty. You’re crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?”
“We’re taking Continental,” was the reply. “We got a great rate!”
“Continental?” exclaimed the hairdresser. “That’s a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they’re always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?”
“We’ll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome’s Tiber River called Teste.”
“Don’t go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks it’s gonna be something special and exclusive, but it’s really a dump.”
“We’re going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope.”
“That’s rich,” laughed the hairdresser. You and a million other people are trying to see him. He’ll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You’re going to need it.”
A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome.
“It was wonderful,” explained the woman, “not only were we on time in one of Continental’s brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot. And the hotel was great! They’d just finished a $5 million remodelling job, and now it’s a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner’s suite at no extra charge!”
“Well,” muttered the hairdresser, “that’s all well and good, but I know you didn’t get to see the Pope.”
“Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I’d be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.
Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me.”
“Oh really? What’d he say?”
He said: “Who the %$&^ did your hair?”
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Associate with those who will help you become great.
Have a fantastic day.