Be Careful Not to Inherit the Conditionings of Others

I have spoken much about conditioning in this blog so I will not go on and on about the importance of recognizing our own conditionings, but the main objective of this post is to understand the conditionings of OTHERS before allowing for their conditioning to impact our own. We must begin to understand where people are coming from when they provide us with their own opinions before accepting them as fact.

Why do we take advice from others who are not in where we want to be in life? Unless we wish to live a similar life as the one providing advice, we must question its relevance to ourselves and what we are looking to accomplish. It is similar in questioning whether we would take financial advice from someone who has filed for bankruptcy a number of times. We simply would not do so. There are people in our lives who serve as resources for a variety of challenges, but not for all.

Many people who provide us with advice are sourcing their words straight from their conditionings. Their beliefs may have been handed down to them by their parents, by community, by friends and neighbors, who more than likely ended up in the same place. Now, these same individuals are making the effort to influence you with these same conditionings. By understanding their conditioned fears and how they played out in their lives, we can be empowered to make the choice to own this condition or not.

For example, if my father has always had a fear of losing his job, belief that working at a big corporation was the best career and was an extremely religious person, what would you expect of my beliefs? Without the awareness of these beliefs being HIS conditionings and not my own (YET), I am likely to inherit his same fears, lack of aspiration, and narrow-mindedness towards other religious beliefs or ideas other than his, and now my, own.

We will inherit conditionings inevitably without our knowledge, for many of them had been engrained at a young age, but as we grow older and gain an awareness of the origin of these conditionings and who/where/what they are coming from, we can take the power back to reject or accept them as we see fit.

Change.

“ Live dangerously, take things as they come; dread naught, all will be well.” – Winston Churchill

The quote by Winston Churchill are truly words to live by when dealing with change.

There comes a time in everyone’s life where we experience change, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. At times we are in a place in our life when we might feel too comfortable, and are ready for a new challenge to take on. Or, perhaps there is a more unwelcomed, unpredictable change in which we cannot control. Regardless, our initial reactions to any change can be intimidating. By reframing change in our lives, we can move forward with positive disposition and excitement for a new beginning.

We can all relate to a time we have worked at a job for a number of years, and simply feel like we are not growing anymore. The decision to take on a new job, at a new company, with a new staff of people might frighten us to the point of discouragement from taking this action at all if we allow it. As human beings, we are instinctually programmed to protect ourselves from threat. Change can often trigger a threat response and cause this debilitating fear. We are then in control to respond to this fear. Are we going to allow fear to take over and remain comfortable where we are? Or will we embrace fear and take a leap of faith into a world of the unknown?

Conversely, other changes we have no control over and are oftentimes unwelcomed occurrences, such as a job firing, for example, to stick with the theme. Perhaps you are satisfied at a job, you feel motivated to work and feel you are continually developing, and suddenly, you are handed a pink slip for your departure from the company. Unexpected. Unpredictable. Yet, highly adaptable. Once again our choice in how we react comes into play. We can frame this occurrence as an opportunity or we can continue to sulk in the woe of a job had lost.

We will miss out on many growth opportunities in life if we do not embrace change, regardless if voluntary or involuntary. Personally, I am constantly reminded that we cannot predict the future as much as I would love to believe I have such a sixth sense. All we can do is go by intuition in the moment and taking a leap of faith into something that may or may not work out. Trust and faith in this change may just lead to a more rewarding outcome than you could have ever expected. Releasing ourselves from the anxieties of the future by remaining in the present and submitting to trust and faith can lead us through any change.

Comment with a recent experience you have had with change and how you have adapted!

You Are the Average of the Five People You Spend The Most Time With

This age-old saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” is typically used in the context of financial wealth. The assumption is that if the five people you spend the most time with are each worth $1 million, average of ($1 million x 5)/ 5 = YOU. Yes, I kept the math very simple mostly because I didn’t want to do it (lol).

However! Some people seem to take this expression quite literally, and turn a blind eye to a more important component of the make-up of your social group other than monetary success… Character.

Throughout my life I have worked with people in executive positions, knowing that if I show up for them, I can get to their status one day. Conversely, I have worked with people in lower-grade positions, knowing that if I show up for them, I can be as generous as them one day.

Now, I ask you… Which is better? Of course the answer is the latter, but sometime the latter is hard to come by. So what do you prioritize? I’ll leave that up to you but just remember that a dollar figure may equal income but it does not equal character.

I think about this concept as I think about the five people I surround myself with most often on a daily/ weekly/ monthly basis. Who are these people? What would their association mean for my personal wealth? What about what it means for my personal character? Do all of these people belong? If not, how can I change my circle?

These are questions I truly do reflect on periodically and throughout the years I have distanced myself from some circles and associated myself (often uncomfortably) with others for the better.

Two personal examples are those of friends and work colleagues at previous jobs.

Once in a while I would get lunch with a girl who loved to gossip. She always wanted attention and to talk about herself, so I would get lunch and appease her in this regard. After while I began to ask myself these simple questions about the relationship. If I am associating myself with someone who never asks about me, always talks about themselves and, even worse, only has negative things to say about others, what am I? Using this concept of “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” I would say this person was dragging my average down (regardless of income). So, let’s just say I no longer agree to lunch anymore.

Another example can be seen in work environments. One commonality many of us share is that of the work environment and its competitiveness. It is no fallacy that those who have close associations with one another, move up with one another. I have worked in environments where I pretended to be someone else because I knew that would be the way to fit in and move up in company status. After a while, I realized, yes, the status and income of the people I am surrounded by might move me up the ladder but did I ever consider their character in choosing this association? We cannot pick and choose to average their monetary income, only! No! Character must also be computed into that average, so again I ask you, “Are these people who you want to be like in five years? Are these people you admire?” That can be a tough question to answer when you reflect on your own actions and those you choose to surround yourself with. After having concluded I did NOT want to be like those I was most frequently surrounded by, again, REGARDLESS of income, I went on a search to find a new environment.

This is my final suggestion, then. Find an environment in which you are surrounded by those you genuinely admire. Ask yourself, “Is this person who I want to be like and where I want to be five years from now?” or even “Is this someone I want to have in my circle five years from now?” In this quest, consider their character, their business and their value in your life. This is a time to be very selfish because you do not have an obligation to show up for ANYONE but yourself. The people you surround yourself with is your choice and your choice alone.

Personal or professional… Improve your environment. Improve your average. Improve your life.