Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! I have always maintained that the company you keep determines what will accompany you in this life. Whom you follow determines what follows you. Your association will always design your destination. When a wise man decides to follow a bunch of bystanders, he has personally constructed the pathway that will lead to the land of failures.
One of my mentors made me to understand that everybody should not necessarily be my friend. Anyone who is not traveling to my destination cannot travel with me. If you’re at the airport and choose to discuss with someone who is not traveling, you may miss your flight. But if you sit with the people that are traveling to your destination, you can never miss your flight. Even if you’re sleeping, they will wake you up. Dear friend, who are you traveling with?
How you think is directly affected by the group you are in. Be sure you’re in the right flock. For example, there are pitfalls to watch in your work environment. In every group there are persons who secretly aware of their own inadequacies, want to stand in your way and prevent you from making progress.
Many ambitious fellows have been laughed at, even threatened, because they tried to be more effective and produce more. Let’s face it. Some folks, being jealous, want to make you feel embarrassed because you want to move upward. This often happen in factories, where fellow workers sometimes resent the fellow who wants to speed up production.
It happens in the military service when a clique of negative minded individuals poke fun at and try to humiliate the young soldier who wants to go far in the army. It happens in business, too, when a few individuals not qualified to advance try to block the way for someone else.
You have seen it happen time and time again in schools when a group of lunkheads deride a classmate who has the good sense to make the most of his educational opportunities and come out with high grades. Sometimes- and all too sadly often- the bright student is jeered at until he reaches the conclusion that it isn’t smart to be diligent.
If you take a look at many organizations, you will discover that some people don’t want to add value to the organization they work for, and they do not want others to do so either. They form cliques to deride anyone who wants to stand out. They mock you and poke fun at you. They even go to the extent of setting traps for you so that you can be like them.
My advice is simple, ignore such negative thinkers in your midst. For often the remark made in your direction aren’t so personal as you might at first think. They are merely a projection of the person’s own feeling of failure and discouragement.
Don’t let negative thinkers pull you down to their level. Let them slide by, like water from the proverbial duck’s back. Cling to people who think progressively. Move upward with them. Connect with people who wants to achieve great things in life. Look for people who think like you and behave like you.
Some people who were destined to be great ended up as failures because of the kind of people they chose to associate with. Samson was a great warrior. He was anointed from the womb to liberate his people from their enemy. But he had one problem; he followed the wrong people. He married the wrong wife. He made an agent whose assignment was to find out the secret of his strength so that she would help his enemies to capture him his friend.
Anytime I read the story of Samson, what really bother me is that he did not surround himself with people who could warn him whenever he goes astray. He was a long ranger. So when he was derailing, nobody was there to caution him. He finally told Delilah the secret of his strength, and he lost his eyes and became a grinder in the prison. He wouldn’t have ended up that way if he had good friends.
King Solomon started well. In fact, he loved God passionately. He obeyed everything God said when he became the King of Israel. Unfortunately, many years later, he chose to associate with the kind of women God warned the Israelites not to associate with. This is how the Bible recorded Solomon’s later end;
“But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.
And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David.
Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.” 1Kings 10:1-10.
Dear friends, mind whom you choose as your friend. No young man woke up one day and chose to become an armed robber, a wrong friend introduced him to it. No young lady woke up and chose to become a prostitute, a bad friend who disguised herself as a saint introduced her to it. Anyone who does not discuss vision, dreams, great accomplishments, good morals and success should not be your friend.
David J. Schwartz shared the following. “A special word of caution: be careful about your source of advice. In most organizations you will encounter freelance advisors who “know the ropes” and are tremendously eager to clue you in.
One time I overheard a freelance advisor explaining the facts of office life to a bright young man just starting in. Said the advisor: “The best way to get along here is just stay out of everybody’s way. If they ever get to know you, all they’ll do is pile more work on you. Be especially careful to stay away from Mr. Z, the department manager. If he thinks you haven’t got enough to do, he will really load you down.”
The freelance advisor had been with the company for almost thirty years and was still a bottom man on the totem pole. What a consultant for a young fellow who wants to move upward in business!” That is exactly how potential giants ended up as complete failures. Mind who you listen to. The voice of the person you listen to will determine how far you will go in life. Wisdom is profitable to direct!
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