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Can Your Circle of Friends Influence Who You Are?

Can Your Circle of Friends Influence Who You Are?

Those you choose to surround yourself with are crucial to your life in their own individual ways, but can they actually have an influence over who you are as a person? The lovely Simon Alexander Ong shares his insights on whether your circle of friends can influence who you become:

For many years, I lived by the belief that how smart and talented I was, would be the single, most important factor in determining my level of success in life.

The grades I thought I had to achieve through sacrificing nights, weekends and holidays for. Having to consistently be regarded as one of the top performers in my class. And, how there had to be mastery of all subjects studied, regardless of interest.

Now, I’m not saying that these accomplishments were of no use at all. In fact, I’m incredibly grateful for all the opportunities and lessons, which I’ve received from the pursuit of academic excellence.

From entering adolescence, to hunting down my first job while at university, it has allowed me to understand that hard work and perseverance are essential ingredients to getting what you want out of life. They are the catalysts that help turn visions into reality.

What hit me over time however, and particularly in the last few years, is the fact that our success in life more often than not comes down to the people we choose to spend our time with.

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How smart you are.

How talented you are.

Where you were born.

The family environment you grew up in.

These may all play some role as to how successful you will be in life, but in comparison to the impact of surrounding yourself with people who can lift you higher, it doesn’t compare.

An individual maybe born into riches but live an unhappy life, while someone from more humble beginnings maybe able to manifest their dreams in record breaking time. All because of the company they keep, which influences their way of thinking and thus resulting in a mindset for success.

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Our habits determine the person we become. Environment optimisation is an important one that can have a profound impact on your well-being.

Want to be successful? Surround yourself with successful people.

Want to be happy? Surround yourself with happy people.

Want to be healthy? Surround yourself with healthy people.

Want to become more confident? Surround yourself with confident people.

In essence, we become more like the people we hang out with.

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It’s like what Jim Rohn tells us: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Take a moment to reflect on the following: Who are the people you spend most time with? Do they elevate you or bring you down? Are they proactive go-getters exhibiting qualities that you admire or people who just sit and criticise? Do they motivate or drain you?

The awesome thing about being around positive minded individuals, who have a habit of chasing their dreams and believe in taking responsibility for their lives, is that you’ll be inclined to grow in a positive direction as well.

They will have an impact on your thinking and consequently your behaviour. They will support you on your journey and move you towards inspired action.

Maximise the amount of time you spend with these people!

“Associate only with positive, focused people who you can learn from and who will not drain your valuable energy with uninspiring attitudes. By developing relationships with those committed to constant improvement and the pursuit of the best that life has to offer, you will have plenty of company on your path to the top of whatever mountain you seek to climb.” – Robin Sharma

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The amazing thing about where we are today in terms of technology, means that you can literally surround yourself with inspiring people (e.g. through Twitter, Facebook and audio books). As a result, I’ve put together a few ideas including these more modern methods, on how you can begin creating a more optimal environment for your personal growth and success:

  • Attend events in your local town/city that appeal to your interests, can help you learn something useful, or arouse your curiosity. Make sure to bring your business cards with you!
  • Seek out people who have skills/qualities that you admire and learn from them. Never assume that they have nothing to learn from you. We can always learn something from someone, regardless of where they are in their own life.
  • Minimise the time you spend hanging out with the wrong crowd and unhealthy influences, e.g. pessimists and those that can hurt your chances of achieving success.
  • Read more. Books, blogs, etc. You will be exposed to inspiring success stories, expand your library of knowledge and nurture your creative thinking.
  • Listen to audiobooks/podcasts when you are commuting and/or relaxing.
  • Follow inspirational people and those who you can learn from on social media channels.
  • Subscribe to newsletters, which will add value to your life and help you towards your goals in life.
  • Keep perspective. While it’s important to spend your time with those who are more successful than you, it is also great for your development to be around those who are at the same stage as you (so ideas and the journey can be shared) and those below you, who you can inspire and share your wisdom with.
  • Spend less time in front of the TV and your smartphone, and more time getting out there and connecting with people. You just never know what it might lead to!

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above and how you’ve benefited from both the power of relationships and a supportive environment.

To Your Success!

Simon

    As a Life Designer and Success Strategist, Simon Alexander Ong helps people create a life and career they love through unlocking their unique talents and inner awesomeness. He will be featured in the forthcoming book by Steve Forbes, titled SuccessOnomics, due for release in Spring 2014. To find out more, head over to http://simonalexanderong.com.

    How Your Circle of Friends Influence Who You Become | Simon Alexander Ong

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    Last Updated on July 23, 2019

    30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

    30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

    The greatest books are defined as classics for a reason. Written by the greatest literary minds of their time, they have universal themes, characters, experiences, emotions and perspectives that are still relevant today. Some of them are the very inspiration from which entire modern genres of literary fiction have sprung up from.

    If you love reading, here’s a perfect reading list for you. Even if you aren’t so much into reading, here’re 10 reasons to love reading.

    Everyone should read at least once for these 30 books — some are well known classics, others are modern giants.  All are well worth reading at least once in your life!

    1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

    50-anniversary-cover1

      Published in 1960, this timeless classic explores human behaviour and the collective conscience of The Deep South in the early 20th century. Humour entwines the delicate strands of prejudice, hatred, hypocrisy, love and innocence to create one of the best novels ever written.

      Print | eBook | Audiobook

      2. 1984, by George Orwell

      1984

        Although 1984 has passed us by, George Orwell’s dystopian, totalitarian world of control, fear and lies has never been more relevant. Delve into the life of Winston Smith as he struggles with his developing human nature in a world where individuality, freewill and love are forbidden.

        Print | eBook | Audiobook

        3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

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          I’m willing to bet you’ve heard of Harry Potter, but have you read the books? Join Harry Potter as he begins his journey into the world of magic, where he is the celebrated Boy Who Lived. Visit Hogwarts, meet your favourite characters and watch Harry grow into the one of the most famous literary characters in the world.

          Print | eBook | Audiobook

          4. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

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            Middle Earth is a wonderful, expansive fantasy world filled with turmoil, heroes, evil and innocence. Although our protagonist Frodo Baggins’ quest seems impossible to complete, this trilogy is a tale of triumph in the most impossible circumstances.

            Print | eBook | Audiobook

            5. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

            Penguin-2

              Published in 1925, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby explores the decadence of the Jazz Age, and one man’s introduction into a world where even those with the most indulgent lives cannot earn love.

              Print | eBook | Audiobook

              6. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

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                One of the most famous novels of all time, Pride And Prejudice details the courtship of two opposed characters in a world where manners and courtesy are of the utmost importance.

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                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                7. The Diary Of A Young Girl, by Anne Frank

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                  Unforgettable and deeply influential, Anne Frank’s diary is a raw account of a young girl’s life as she hides from the Nazis. Despite her circumstances, Anne believes that people are still good at heart and that the world is full of beauty: she will change your life.

                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                  8. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

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                    Set in Germany during 1939, The Book Thief follows Liesel as she rescues books from the tyranny of Nazi rule. Meanwhile, her family has hidden a Jewish fighter in their basement and death looks down on the family, narrating our tale. Experience bravery that is rarely found in the world, and friendship that is formed in the most unlikely of situations.

                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                    9. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

                    Hobbit_book

                      Although the movies are inexplicably long, The Hobbit was originally written as a short children’s book. Meet your favourite characters for the first time as the unforgettable Bilbo Baggins traverses the harsh landscapes of Middle Earth to challenge a dragon.

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                      10. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

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                        Join four sisters, each with their own prominent personality, as they come of age in charming 19th Century New England. Experience their struggles and revel in their flaws, as these girls become strong women.

                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                        11. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

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                          Books are forbidden, and it is our main character Guy Montag’s job to burn any books he comes across. Often compared to George Orwell’s 1984, Ray Bradbury’s dystopian world is an unsettling commentary on Western societies’ addiction and dependence on the media and conformity.

                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                          12. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

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                            Arguably one of the most influential fictional heroines of all time, Jane Eyre is a strong, unbroken women despite her troubled childhood and repressed Victorian society.
                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                            13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

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                            Print

                              This famous 1945 satire, examines the realistic risks of revolution and the dynamics animals will inevitably give in to.

                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                              14. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

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                                Set in The South during The Civil War, chances are if you love the movie you’ll love the book. Although the main character and the world she lives in is loathsome, readers’ opinions are twisted as this novel dishes out a fated justice when both Scarlett and The South lose their wars.

                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

                                97803167694881

                                  Starring the original cynical adolescent, The Catcher In The Rye explores the challenges and isolation of adolescence. Decipher your own message as you follow sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield, in this novel that has split audiences for decades.

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                                  16. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White

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                                    Team up with Charlotte, a loving and generous spider, and Fern, a farmers daughter as they try to save Wilbur the piglet from becoming breakfast. Charlotte’s Web is a compelling reminder to bask in the simplistic wonders of everyday life, and to be kind to all living creatures.

                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                    17. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis

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                                      Another renowned fantasy world, Narnia is the home of hundreds of magnificent creatures each with their own origins, morals and ideals. Let you imagination run wild as you enter the wardrobe and meet some of the most famous literary characters in history.

                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                      18. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

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                                        Published in 1939, this novel set during The Great Depression follows one Oklahoma family as they are forced to travel to California. Experience America in a tale where it’s people are divided into the haves and have-nots, the powerful and the powerless.

                                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                        19. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

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                                          This classic novel follows the lives of boys marooned on an island as they regress into savages; and their beautiful, enjoyable island existence collapses into a primitive and cruel nightmare.

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                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                          20. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

                                          kiterunner

                                            A story of true friendship, The Kite Runner follows Amir as he tries to find the only true friend he’s ever had – despite abandoning him due to ethnic and religious differences that were prominent in Kabul, Afghanistan.

                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                            21. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

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                                              Of Mice And Men is a complex story of a friendship between two migrant workers: George Milton and Lennie Small, in California. Watch their friendship develop as the pair work towards their modest dreams of owning their own land and pets.

                                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                              22. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

                                              twocities

                                                Following eighteen years as a political prisoner, Dr Manette is released and returns to England with his daughter Lucie. There, two very different men fall in love with Lucie and become entwined in a tale of love and sacrifice.

                                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                23. Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

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                                                  Perhaps the most famous love story ever written, Romeo and Juliet is an epic tragedy that explores the euphoria of desire and the tragedy of revenge.

                                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                  24. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

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                                                    Grab a towel and accompany human Arthur Dent on a fantastic adventure across the galaxy. Learn not to take the universe so seriously and forget any meaning you’ve applied to anything in your life, because we all know the real meaning of life is 42.

                                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                    25. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

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                                                      Published in 1847, this passionate and harrowing story of love, rivalry and revenge follows Catherine Earnshaw and her father’s adopted foundling Heathcliff as they grow into very different adults.

                                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

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                                                      26. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

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                                                        Winner of multiple awards, The Color Purple is a devastating tale that tackles the lives of colored women in 1930s USA. Censored and challenged, the harsh reality displayed in The Color Purple will leave you shaken.

                                                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                        27. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

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                                                          Bizarre and curious, Alice In Wonderland explores the potential of imagination and the reality of fiction. If you’re a fan of escaping the real world, this is definitely the book for you.

                                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                          28. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

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                                                            A combination of gothic thriller, cautionary tale and romance novel, Frankenstein is a story like no other. Written by Mary Shelley when she was just eighteen, Frankenstein prompts readers to ask themselves some truly shattering questions: what makes us human? What do we owe to one another as living creatures? How far can science push the boundaries of nature?

                                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                            29. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

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                                                              Often titled The Great American Novel, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn is a deep and complex tale of friendship, adolescence and shifting societal norms.

                                                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                              30. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

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                                                                Although Vonnegut himself admits there are few characters or confrontations in this book, the impact of his novel is undeniable.

                                                                We travel through life with our protagonist Billy Pilgrim as he experiences World War II from a rather unique perspective – that is, he’s been abducted from his home planet of Tralfamadore. Rich and deeply funny, this tale aims to discourage us from war and murder that the authorities force the public into.

                                                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                Featured photo credit: Prasanna Kumar via unsplash.com

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