You are what you eat and you are who you surround yourself with. I have a good friend who was a pastor to 20 somethings. From time to time he would get a call from someone who was in a really bad situation. They were either in jail or facing some serious punishment. When he would meet with them, one of the first questions he asked them was “Who have you been hanging out with.” He didn’t ask what they had done but rather who have they been doing it with.


Each time, their response was an indicator of how they ended up in this situation.

If you want to achieve greatness and to make a positive impact during your lifetime you must surround yourself with the right people. Be selective about who you spend your time with.

This message is great for teenagers and young adults but it preaches just as strong for the not so young as well. Don’t allow negative people to take up your time and bring you down. Doing so brings you down, holds you back and will never bring out the best in you.

Examine yourself right now and look at the 5-10 people you spend the most time with. If you are the brightest, most positive and most passionate in this group, you likely won’t be able to live up to your own potential. I love to surround myself with people that challenge me to be better, that have patterns of success in areas that I don’t and that are absolutely sold out to the idea of living a better life.

“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

Does this mean you only interact with positive people and just shut out all negative people or those that aren’t “good enough?” Absolutely not. This mindset is all about the very short list of those that you are choosing to invite into your life and whom you are investing in. These are your friends, your confidants, your ambassadors and your battle buddies.

This isn’t about being an elitist and not showing care or value for those that are struggling. I care deeply for people. I spend much of my time seeking to help others and build them up. I just think we should be uber selective with the few people that you do allow to influence you and to speak into your life.

The short list of people that you use for advice, for consultation and for confession. The group of people that you allow into the very small moments of free time that you have. That you allow to know you deeply and speak to you freely. This group of people, if chosen correctly and intentionally will forever change your life.

Being selective and choosing the best people means living a life where amazing people want to be in your life.

“The only way to get better is to have better people in your life.”

How do you determine who to spend your time with? You must choose:

  • People that value you and value your time
  • People that want to make an impact on the world
  • People that want to grow, improve and change
  • People who thrive on positivity, who have passion and who seek adventure from their life
  • People who have patterns of success in areas you most want to learn
  • People who aren’t perfect but who are humble
  • People that seek to lift up others and bring the best out in others
  • People that are always learning, always leading and always willing to listen

How do you determine who NOT to spend your time with? Do not choose:

  • People that don’t value you or your time
  • People that are negative, toxic, judgmental, and who lack integrity
  • People who are more concerned about themselves and rarely about you
  • People that want to bring you and others down to feel better about themselves
  • People that blame others, have excuses and seem to be constant victims
  • People who think they are perfect and expect you to be as well
  • People that don’t need to learn and have all of the answers

Lead Well, Lead Often & LEAD STRONG!