In 10th grade I was skipping class to smoke cigarettes and in 12th I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” This all happened within 2 years, and it is because I became great friends with a girl who enjoyed pushing herself academically and physically.
Your time spent around other people may be one of the most significant investments you make, for better or for worse. You should be as cognizant about this as you are about what kinds of food you put in your mouth or how much sleep you are getting. It is highly rewarding when you are around positive people, and if you are not doing this you could be sabotaging your potential.
Before I cared about my progress in school I was surrounding myself with people that I would now classify as energy suckers. We got C’s in gym and art class, we had no respect for timelines, and we looked for ways to break and skirt the rules. For what? I honestly have no idea, but I remember being very bored at one point and I decided to put my gymnastics skills to use by joining the competitive cheer team. This is where I met my precious friend Brittany Dupont. I remember being so taken with her vibes and energy and slowly my life changed without me realizing it. I went from being one of the notoriously bad kids to the one of the smart kids acing the A.P. courses. I feel lucky that this happened to me and now I do my best to be intentional about the people around me.
Find the good people. They are intrinsically contagious. They bring you life by giving you perspective, experience, and possibly support. They do things that reveal the happiness and joy each day has. Not only surround yourself with good people, but also surround yourself with people that inspire you. These are the people that will give you unbridled inspiration and equip you with character and professional tools to overcome obstacles. Also, seek out people that have similar major goals so they can understand the magnitude of your interests and concerns. Talking about which optimization algorithm to use in your research with a person who is a professional snowboarder will most likely not be the in depth conversation you need.
To find these people and naturally attract them into your life, you need to give off good vibes. Do not be an energy sucker! Actually, I fear that sometimes I may be an energy sucker because I am dealing with chronic fatigue. I got a new office mate this year and I rarely mention my regular problems with physical energy because of this. He is another example of a person that has impacted my daily life just by being himself. He is so full of vigor and enthusiasm that it really inspires me and gives me the energy I need. Energy to dive deeper into my research and energy to be articulate, and these things bring me joy.
Take inventory of your short term and long term goals to identify the types of people you need to spend more time with. Lately, I have been surrounding myself with people that don’t overextend themselves, people that meditate, people that eat real food, and people that prioritize time for laughing and relaxation.
Originally published at medium.com