Birds of a feather – why do they flock together?

 So why do birds of a feather flock together?  It this just a cute little saying we have been raised with, or is there some deep truth hidden in the saying?

I am not about to explore the biological focus of this saying.  But i have been observing a truth that is powerful.  Who you surround yourself with often influences you more than anything else.  Surrounding yourself with successful people that drive hard at the pace of building their business, focus on growing, and success will shape your thoughts, mold your behavior and soon we assimilate the best traits of such folks.  Likewise association with folks that have no desire to build their business, nor to seek out success will negatively influence life.

Recently I encountered a woman that i thought was just very shy.  I talked her into attending a function, offering to go with her.  It was my perception that she views such events with anxiety and primarily based on not knowing people to socialize with.  If i have not said this before, I am a seriously introverted person, but I have learned how to step into that uncomfortable place of being an extrovert because there is value in the exercise.  It is stretching my social skills, and my capacity.   None the less, this woman showed up at the event, glued to my side, with an attitude much like an atom bomb over Hiroshima… everything in her wake would know of her discomfort, and her apprehension to be involved in any social setting.  (Instantly I began regretting my invitation – know the feeling?)

We were making small talk and I mentioned that I have a buisness.  (do you see this coming?) Immediately she began the endless draining negativity: “Why would you ever want to do that? Oh, I could never consider that, well, maybe when I am 70 and retired and have nothing better to do, but that would take so much time and i just dont know why you would bother with that…………………………”  At some point all i heard was Charlie Brown’s Teacher’s voice “waaaah waaaah waaaaah wah wah wah” and I had to get away.  Now this was a big picnic in a park.  A couple hundred folks, games, food, and the glorious Lake Erie just steps away…. and….

I am not even sure if I said anything to her.  I had to just get away from the excuses and the draining sound.  The lake was offering a place to quiet my thoughts, to renew my committment to living with purpose and passion.  So I abandoned the group to walk along the shore, to stare at the waves, watch the birds fly over, and just reflect on the endless energy of the waves.  And those 20 minutes renewed my strength, and my convictions.

She may well be a good person, but my life is in a different place than hers.  I have been through seriously hard times, and I have determined I will never let life crush me, limit me, or incapacitate me.  Together with my husband, Steve, we have moved mountains to build a business, and carve a new version of our life.  And we have seen our business grow, our capacities enlarge significantly, and our passion fueled by this success. We are not bulletproof, but I can best describe my thoughts as this: We had a garage sale and we sold off the options for excuses, the giant buckets of fear, and the heavy weights of accepting limitations.  And we held a fire sale on the old thoughts that sold out our dreams… sadly there are so many people that are willing to lay down their dreams for the intense need to just earn a living.  We took what we earned from selling the stuff that held us back to buy fuel for our thoughts with knowledge and insight that will strengthen us on our journey, and we choose to surround ourselves with people that have a goal of succeeding in life.

I don’t believe this woman abandoned success.  Instead, life taught her limitations, acceptance of less than capacity, and the lulling to sleep and thus avoid risk.  We can all get there, can’t we? If that describes you – as long as you are OK with where you are, no worries.  I suspect if you are reading my blog that you have an interest in building your life…. and a restlessness with status quo.  I want challenge.  I want to live with a risk that there is more to life than I  currently know. I want to discover the reward of blood sweat and tears, of rolling up my sleeves and busting it to build a better life.  And I love to be around others that are working on their success.  There is a strength that comes from rubbing elbows with like minded folks.

so assess well who you surround yourself with, and choose wisely….