Reporting to you, former procrastinators: Tracking my computer time reveals that I spend twice as much time “vegging out” as I thought I did. That is changing this week.
In my sixth grade class, when someone got in trouble, our discerning teacher might ask, “Were you under the influence?” She was referring to other students. She knew who somebody listens to or sits near could affect his behavior. In The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy speaks of outside influences in our lives.
He says to stay on track toward your goals, you’ll need to govern outside influences so they support you and don’t derail your journey. He addresses three kinds of influences.
Input – What you feed your mind. You’re familiar with garbage in, garbage out. What goes into your minds, comes out in some fashion. Garbage drags you down. Hardy says you should be selective, constantly on guard not to drink dirty water. Put yourself on a media diet by figuring out what’s healthy and positive for you and sticking only to those things. (That’s Philippians 4:8-9) Beware TV and computer. Then he says enroll in Drive Time U. Maximize commute time (cooking time?) by listening to CD’s DVD’s, books that enrich you.
Associations – the people you spend time with. Who are the people you spend the most time with? Who are the people you most admire? Are those two groups the same? His mentor taught him you become like the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You take on the same food, dress, attitudes, practices in small nudges. Is that where you want to go? The best way to increase your potential for developing traits you desire is to spend the majority of your time with people who already have those traits. (I can hear moms of wee ones moaning. You’re where you should be, but you can enlarge your circle.)
Hardy would applaud what I once heard someone say. “My husband and I need to spend more time with couple X. When we’re with them, conversation is positive and uplifting. When we’re with couple Y, there’s a lot of complaining. It’s a downer.” He says limit the amount of time with the latter folks.
Hardy often refers to his mentor – but he spent very little time with him in person. Ninety-five percent of that man’s influence came through books and tapes. He also encourages finding a mentor with whom you can actually spend time. Glean what you can from his or her experience and wisdom.
He recommends teaming up with a partner – someone you trust to give you an honest outside perspective of your attitudes and work. (Mine is my BFF – Booster Follow up Friend).
Environment – your surroundings. Sometimes dreams get root bound and need some space to grow. Try something different. Remove clutter – physical excess and incomplete commitments that pull you to the past. (Deal with forgiveness.)
What or who influences you in a positive or negative way? How can you increase time with the positive and lessen time with the negative?