As adults, we often meet more people that help stimulate our creativity, offer us an intelligent perspective on our decisions an ideas, and who provide us with a place to state our own thoughts, opinions and ideas. Whether you use social networking on the Internet or not, our lives are all about social networking; sharing, listening, and providing input back to the source.
And that is all fine and dandy when things are going well. When we love our job and make a comfortable living, it's easy to call up friends and family and talk happily about our week's work. When we have a healthy and happy relationship, we want to shout it out to the world. When we're active and working out a lot, we love to tell people about our progress! But what about when the tables are turned...
...A lull in your romantic life, financial problems, being completely unsatisfied with work, having gained a lot of weight... At these times don't we automatically go into hiding a little. I know I do. I don't mean to. I love my family and friends and I need them for love and support. But frankly, it's less embarrassing to just deal with these things on your own. The people we love don't mean to, but they often try to help us see things "traditionally" and when you don't live your life traditionally, your stories tend to either:
a) make people feel scared for you, causing them to help you solve your non-traditional life style "problem" and box it into a nice, safe little package where risk can't cause it any harm
b) leave them silent on the other end of the phone while they pretend to understand what you're going through because they love you and care about you, but really you can hear in the tone of their voice that they can't even imagine letting a situation get to that point because why take that risk?
welcome to my life.
The people who love us don't judge us on purpose. But we live in a society where we are supposed to live by a certain code. Go to college, get a job, get "financial security" and health care benefits, save in a traditional manner for retirement with a 401k, work 40 hours a week, take a vacation once a year, go out and have some fun on Friday and Saturday nights, join a gym... blah blah blah.
But I don't buy it. So when times are tough for me I turn to my 100's.
How to find the 100's in your life:
This is a neat little test that my mentor taught me. He's a successful entrepreneur who knows how to surround himself with the right kind of people.
List the 5 people that you spend the most time with.
I know this sounds like you are just categorizing people and it's obviously not the list that you show to your friends and family! But it's a simply little exercise to give you an idea of the types of people you surround yourself with everyday.
Now ask yourself 4 important questions for each person:
1. Is this person an Achiever or a Complainer?
2. Is this person Happy or Unhappy?
3. Is this person Successful or Unsuccessful (you can decide what the terms of successful mean, it's different for everyone)
4. Is this person Positive or Negative
Now for every positive answer (achiever, happy, successful, positive) give your person 25 points. And for every negative answer, give your person 0 points. Now add up the points and you either have someone who's a 0, a 25, a 50, a 75, or a 100.
I'm not saying that everyone in your life is going to be a 75 or 100. You may have relatives, even your children, or people you've forever been close with that don't get a 100. I'm not telling you to go dump these people! But unfortunately, if the people you choose to spend your time with are less than a 75, then you may causing yourself some unnecessary grief.
On a personal note: I am very fortunate to have positive people in my life. But it didn't just happen like that. I've weeded out many negative influences and worked hard on relationships that I felt needed to grow in a positive direction.
My dear friend M is a 100. M achieves what is important to her with ferocity and fearlessness. She has a quality about her that always suggests deep and meaningful happiness even when she's having a bad day. M isn't totally sure what she is going to do when she gets her degree but she has such a deep understanding of her calling in this world that she is already a complete success! And M give me such vivacious positivity in every single conversation we have. Her voice sings positivity with every word. When it's dark and cold and scary and I'm not sure even one person on the planet could understand, M does. If it were possible, I'd say she were a 1000. Hell, of course it's possible because I can make the rules! I'll find an equation that equals 1000 just to prove it.
So when you're shying away from the world because socially, the things you are going through are.... "embarrassing" and they don't fit in that stupid little box that they are supposed to in this traditional world, find your 100 and ask for their open and non-judgmental shoulder. You really don't have to carry the weight alone. No one expects that of you. I hope everyone has at least one M in their life. And if you don't yet, don't fear! I didn't find M until I was 23. I searched many years for M and now, as she writes in a text yesterday "B, I love being there with you in whatever life throws at us...till we are old ladies!" I am thankful for this blessing.
And remember it's not only about needing 100's in your life, but also being a 100 for the special people in your life.
BPositive today my friends and B a 100 for the ones you love.