Last week I decided to “cancel” a friendship I had with a guy (let’s call him Gordon, for no particular reason) who, over the 12 years I’d known him, had always seemed to be in a parlous financial state, despite having a succession of reasonably paid sales jobs.
Worse, he perpetually blamed the Government, the tax-man, his divorce and recently the economic meltdown for his feeble position and lack of tangible success.
Sometimes, if my day hadn’t quite gone according to plan, I’d found it comforting, in a strange kind of way, to hang out with someone else whose day, year or entire life was going even worse.
Problem was, allowing him to sympathise over my occasional disappointments had saved me the trouble of doing anything constructive to stop the same things happening again. Even worse, after a half-hour of his desolate diatribes, I would find myself starting to think like him!
Believing as I do that our success is based almost entirely on the attitudes and behaviours of the people around us, I had to let Gordon go.
Inspired by that experience, I’m now spring-cleaning and de-cluttering my whole network, exterminating any other Gordons who may be lurking in there masquerading as worthwhile associates. Try it for yourself, using these 3 simple criteria –
1: How are they fixed financially? It’s a spooky mathematical reality that if you take the five people closest to you, add up their salary and divide by five, you’ll have your annual earnings potential. Don’t tolerate anyone who drags down your average.
2: How much value can they bring to your life? Fruitful and rewarding associations are about a fair exchange of value, with each party adding to the other’s success. If it’s all their way, bin them!
3: Do they move in circles you’d like to penetrate? If they operate at a lower level than you do and never venture out of their discomfort zones, they’re unlikely to be capable of improving your life.
After you’ve ruthlessly culled your contact list, get to work on those you decided to keep, and resolve to spend a lot more time with them. That shouldn’t be difficult if you’ve done it properly; because there won’t be too many names left…