The Power of Associations

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Associations

You’re only as good as the people around you. Make sure you have the right people on your team.

I was talking the other day with a friend of mine about a pretty awesome thing I noticed about life. It’s so funny how truth is abundant and we always get to hear it, but very seldom do we take it for face value. For the most part we (myself included) doubt simple truths the first time we hear them. I always would have these “it’s not that easy” moments when I would hear something that made sense but was so simple. This simple truth I’ll focus on today is about your associations.

Surroundings

I’ll start with a simple example from my life (not too long ago, by the way…).  In medical school my classmates and I had a pretty tough study schedule. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and required time I had never put before into studying. I remember in college I went out all the time, my friends went out all the time, most of the people I knew and hung out with went out on a weekly basis.  We were in college and that’s what we were expected to do right? Party… I’ll take it a bit further: I would have never expected for a second NOT to go out during the week and it was never a question about going out on the weekend. It was more of a dilemma trying to figure out where to go! And to make it more real and a part of my life, I would sacrifice sleep all the time so I could go out. I worked mornings on the weekend in college and had to be there for opening around 7-8am every Saturday. I would be out Friday night until 3-4am (at least) with my friends, just having a good time. I knew I’d have to be up in a few hours, but partying was top priority.

Commitments

Now this blog post isn’t about me partying my undergrad years away, but I’m writing this to help everyone see how powerful associations are. Look at all the sacrifice I made – just to party. We won’t talk about the money I wasted, time taken from studying and sports, and from family. I was committed (to say the least)!  Now, back to medical school … some days I would study all day, say 16 hours, only breaking to eat. It was what it took to get through all the material and master it to a level where I could perform well on an exam. Now in medical school going out weekly was absolutely out of the question. You just didn’t have time considering all the studying. There was no way. My classmates and I had convinced ourselves that it was okay to only go out once every 6-8 weeks. We all were doing the same thing with our lives; studying. We wanted to learn the material, we wanted to do well on the exam, we wanted that M.D.

Power Up

I was talking to my buddy Big Bird about this a few weeks ago. He has a performance gym that trains athletes that compete in various competitions, from BMX bikers to power lifters. The athletes he works with are trying to push themselves to the max. They are training to compete; they want to be their best. When I first stepped into the gym to visit my friend my initial thought was, Man, I bet they workout really hard here! I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and WHAM!!! It hit me. You’re only as good as the people around you. You want to fit in with the crowd you are in, and if that crowd is made up of overachiever (ie medical school) you’ll rise to the occasion. It’s the exact same in the gym. If you are working out with high competition level athletes don’t you think you’ll work a little harder?

Friends

I’ve always read about watching who you hang out with. I grew up with people telling me, “Don’t be with the wrong crowd they will bring you down.”, etc. But it also works in the reverse.

Your chosen crowd can also bring you up!

They can push you, they can get you to perform on a level you would have never thought you could. The power is in associations. Take time out of your day to find someone in your sphere that you can learn from and spend more time with them. Try to bring something to the table when you make a new relationship with someone you want to learn from. In one of the Jack Canfield’s books I recently read, he writes that people only make as much money as their friends. He went on to explain that if you want to make more money start hanging out with people who make the type of money you want.

Know Where You’re Going

Associations are very simple to understand, but I don’t think we truly realize how much they really influence us. Get the right people around you and you’ll know where you’re headed. All you’ll need to do is look around.