Everybody says that you find out who your true friends are when you’re down. I definitely have to agree with that. When I hit rock bottom there were people who were there for me, people who ignored me and people who handed me a shovel. It was eye opening. Recently I heard a saying that covers the flip side of that. Pay attention to those who do not clap when you succeed.
I’d never thought of that before, but I have to admit that it’s true. I think we all have, or have had, at least one friend who never seems to be happy if we’re doing well. It is almost as if they prefer, are happier, when your life is a mess. These are the people who do not clap when you succeed. These are the people who do not deserve your time.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the people you surround yourself with plays a huge part in the happiness and success of your life. Obviously, you play the biggest role, and at the end of the day make the decisions about what you do and don’t do in your own life. But I feel that if you spend all of your time with people who are content wasting their gifts and subsisting from day to day, then your life is likely to fall along the same lines. If you spend all your time with people who are constantly working at their gifts and striving for more, you will be more likely to do the same.
By the same token, if you surround yourself with pessimistic people who complain all the time, your mood is going to be pretty shitty compared to if you spend all of your time with people who are happy, find the good in life and laugh a lot. Just a simple shift from focusing on everything that is bad, to focusing on everything that is good – no matter how slight – can make a huge difference.
I had a rough year last year, so for Christmas my roommate bought me a gratitude journal. It has cute pictures, some quotes and spaces for you to write three things that you’re grateful for every day. Being the Type-A person that I am, I immediately counted the pages and realized that there weren’t enough for an entire year, and worse yet, the number didn’t break down into an even denomination like 5 or 6 months. If you used one page per day, like you were supposed to, you would wind up at the end of the book somewhere in the middle of a month, in the middle of a week. *twitch*
Clearly, the hippy-dippy person that created this journal is lacking even a shred of Type-A personality. That being said, it was a really sweet gift, especially since almost all of the drawings were of elephants, my favorite animal. Despite this, I still couldn’t quite get over the loosey-goosey lay out that had a complete disregard for standard delineations of time.
So it has been sitting on my nightstand. Well intentioned, but unused. Until last week. I crashed, have been in a funk, depressed as all hell, whatever you want to call it, and I decided that maybe I could use a little bit of focus on the positive. I started writing in my gratitude journal last week. Let me tell you, there have been a couple of nights where it was hard to get to three things I was grateful for that day. But I did it. I got to three every night. And it has been slowly getting easier. Easier to come up with three things that I’m grateful for, easier to focus on the things that are good and easier to see which people support me on the path to positive vs preferring me to stick around and wallow.
That’s when I realized that the wallowers are the same ones who do not clap when you succeed. I think it’s time to be done with them. I’m in no mood to wallow.