Training Tip #11 – The Company You Keep

Being weary of the company you keep feels like something one hears mostly in the context of DARE programs from back in the day, talking about keeping kids drug free. It’s amazing that I never really heard a whole lot about it from adults in other contexts.

My parents were probably much more aware of the friends I hung out with than I think, but it’s something I don’t remember hearing a lot about. When I reflect on it now, I understand what a huge influence my friends were on me. Some friends were converted to wrestlers throughout the years, but most weren’t. Regardless, friends affect the difficulty to make decisions, are a source of peer pressure, and most importantly of all they are a support system that help you to be better.

Of course it seems kind of ridiculous, but if you are constantly hanging around friends that are being hooligans and getting terrible grades, little by little standards start to align with that of the people you like and consider your friends. I never really thought much about what I was doing as far as choosing friends, but as I continue to grow, I have always befriended people that had similar goals and pursuits as I have. It’s a natural thing if you spend your waking hours going to school, doing homework, wrestling, and lifting while your friends are going to school, skateboarding and then playing World of War Craft until 1am that you will slowly part ways. It’s not that you harbor ill will towards them or they are bad people for having different interests than you, it’s just that you don’t spend time together. Therefore, you’ll probably be friends with the people you spend most of your time with. Being friends with someone who is doing what you want to do will make your path easier to walk.

When you have friends that support you, either because their pursuits are the same or because they understand what you want to do, they can help keep hold you accountable. Peer pressure can be a great thing. Too many people only see the negative side of peer pressure and thus it gets a bad wrap. But actually, it can be a powerful tool on some of those days when you just need a little nudge to get going. If you are an athlete and your friends are musicians for example, as long as you know what your friends want to do, you can support each other greatly.

Look to have people in your life who are better than you, smarter than you, stronger than you, and so on. Find out what they are doing. If you want to be a great wrestler, then find the best one you can. If you want to be the best artist, go find the best one available. Find friends that will support you and your interests, not interfere with them.

The greatest enemy of “best” is not “bad”, it’s the “good”.
Matthew 16:26 – 27


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