I’ll jump straight into it with this one… There are 2 reasons I’ll discuss, for why you must choose your friends wisely.
Once I saw an article, about a study that was undertaken by the Harvard Study of Adult Development, regarding the secret to happiness. As the longest-running study on happiness, the project followed 724 men since they were teenagers in 1938. (Approximately 60 men, now in their 90s, are still left.) The group consisted of men from various economic and social backgrounds, from Boston’s poorest neighbourhoods to Harvard undergrads.
Okay, this is where it gets fascinating, read on…
The Harvard Study found a very strong association between happiness and close relationships such as spouses, family, friends, and social circles. To break their conclusion down into simpler terms, the researchers distinguished that personal connection creates mental and emotional stimulation as an automatic mood booster, whereas isolation and loneliness is a mood buster.
The findings of the study are very clear; the closer, more connected the relationships in a person’s life are, the happier and healthier they will be, living longer than those who are lonely.
Now, what we know about loneliness is that it doesn’t always mean you don’t know anyone. You see, it is often that people are lonely in a crowd, and you can be lonely whilst being in a toxic marriage with children too. It really isn’t the number of friends you have, it’s the quality of those relationships that really counts.
When the men were in their 80s, the researchers looked back on their lives at 50 years old. They found that it wasn’t their mid-life cholesterol levels that determined how they were going to grow old, it was their satisfaction with their relationships. The people who were most satisfied in their relationships at age 50, were the healthiest in their 80s. Not only this, but they had more consistent moods, and exponentially better brain functioning than those who were unsatisfied with their relationships, at age 50.
This first reason for choosing your friends wisely, is that if you don’t, you run the risk of increased loneliness and sadness. Your relationships may make you feel inadequate, dragging you to their level. Or possibly, your friends may drag you down in a different way, where they lack goals, ambition, fearlessness even…
This leads me to my second reason for choosing your friends wisely;
“If you don’t look inside your friendship circle and become inspired, then you no longer have a circle, you have a cage”Nipsey Hussle
Common in many teenagers, where their lives may be thrown off track by hanging out with the wrong people, by hanging out with people with no goals, no vision for their future… that’s how to set yourself up for failure.
Surround yourself with people who have these traits, the ambition, the drive to be better, people who are fearless, not afraid to take risks, that’s how you get to where you want to be. You become who you surround yourself with. By being around their behaviours, it starts to feel like the norm… If you hang out with people who have goals, who never complain and who constantly do their best, it encourages you to do the same. If you hang out with people who have a poor mindset, always focus on the negatives, or maybe as an example, people who smoke… it starts to feel like the norm, and your behaviours become accustomed to theirs, dragging you down.
As the old saying goes, “if you lay down with dogs, you’ll get fleas”…
Choose your friends wisely, don’t be afraid to cut off the people in your life who drag you down, and spend more time with the ones who lift you up, with like-minded people… It’ll change your life completely.
Have a wonderful week!!
PS. Check out my ‘May50K’ fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis page here, we are almost half way to our goal of $5000!