Having friends is one of the most rewarding aspects of a good life. You share meals together. You probably enjoy similar hobbies and activities. So it should come as no surprise that you can even adapt the same work ethic and career values as your pals.
Like it or not, your friends influence you in plenty of ways. Let’s examine how and to what extent you’re influenced by the company you keep.
1. Time spent together. How much time are you with your friends? And how does that time compare with the hours you spend with your spouse, kids, and extended family? Of course, the more time you spend with your friends, the more opportunity there is to pick up their habits, positive or otherwise.
- Examine now how you’ve changed over the past few years. Can you connect those changes with how any of your friends behave?
2. Eating together. How often do you share a meal with your friends? What are your eating habits like when you’re at home? How do they change when you’re with your friends? Are you a health nut until you go to lunch with your pals?
- How you alter your eating habits when you’re with your friends can influence your weight and potentially your health. Consider now the impact of sharing meals with your friends. Do your choices at those times support the life you want to live?
3. Drinking together. What is your level of alcohol use compared with your friends? Maybe you try to limit your alcohol use but then your buddies invite you to go out for a few drinks after work and before you know it, you’ve had too much. Is this experience what you choose for the life you want to live?
4. Playing together. What are your favorite hobbies and activities as compared with your friends’ hobbies? Maybe you prefer more solitary hobbies like drawing or fishing but your friend loves to play golf and tennis.
- If you find yourself gravitating towards the chosen pastimes of your friends, are you pleased with that change in yourself? Or do you actually prefer other activities?
5. Sharing values about work. What kind of ideas about work do your friends have? Maybe they’re workaholics. Perhaps they prefer to do just enough to get by and receive their paychecks. Some of them might even be perfectionists when it comes to their work. Maybe you have friends who don’t work much at all or who don’t have any real career aspirations.
- Do you find yourself gravitating toward your friends’ ideas, feelings, and habits around work? And do those elements help or hurt your efforts to achieve in your career?
- Thoughtfully consider the impact your friends’ attitudes about their work have on your own perspectives about your job.
The people you associate with have the capacity to change your life in a number of ways. If you make yourself aware how your friends are affecting your life, you can then choose which habits you want and which of your buddies are contributing to the life you want to lead.