There’s a wonderful saying, “Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.”

When I think about these words, so many meanings come to mind: the people in your life and their attitudes towards you, the places you frequent socially, your workplace environment and those you meet for the very first time. They also raise the questions: are the people and surroundings you deal with supporting, loving, befriending, even helping you when you need them the most? Or do they pull you down, surround you with negative energy, refuse to acknowledge your accomplishments or speak about you unenthusiastically?

The only person you need to impress in this life is yourself. You don’t require others approval or judgment to live your best life possible. Friends, family, and personal relationships are all great, but do they build you up, promote and encourage you as you do to them? Are the associations you have with those in your inner circle carrying a positive influence to your life?

Many of the most successful and significant people in the world live by golden rules; some of their most used are avoiding negative influence whenever you can, evade those not having your best interests at heart, and always try to think positive. The Universe and Karma can be rough terrain, giving credit to the saying that “whatever comes around goes around.” Therefore, trying to shoot positive energy into the world can reap many beneficial rewards.

Other people’s opinions and influence can make or break our success, if you allow it. And I’m not only referring to our financial lives. They can determine the outcomes of our marriages, careers, and friendships. The trick, I’ve learned, through lots of trial-and-error is to walk away from those who aren’t of genuine quality. It isn’t always easy to do, especially if the ones you’re saying “goodbye” to you’ve known a long time, are related to, even happen to love. Many bend over backwards to gain others approval, even allowing emotional abuse to take place. But, if you’re not receiving the benefit of mutual appreciation, it’s time to wander in a different direction.

We live in a celebrity-driven world where so many constantly seek attention. Somehow, they believe others admiration is what defines them, makes them whole, and raises them up the social ladders. And when they don’t gain the notoriety they want, they try even harder holding on to their transparent beliefs. In my opinion, living this way is never satisfying because they always want more—a big hole which can never be filled.

All of us should perform a gut check and inventory those in our lives from time-to-time. Most of us take our vehicles in for tune-ups occasionally, so why not do the same for your mental health? It’s been said that the average adult has roughly five to twenty people they talk to on a regular basis. And out of those groups, only about three to five would they feel comfortable calling for help with a medical emergency or some other stressful situation. The question is: Which ones in your life would you call? Who would drop everything and sit by your side when really needed? If a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came your way: a new job, a winning lottery ticket, your picture in the paper, who would celebrate your success without jealousy or envy? In other words, who would truly be happy for you?

Most of us go through life trying to improve ourselves. We all want to be successful in one form or another: Career, family, sports, even hobbies. And we hope our good fortune is appreciated by others. This makes me think what a reputable pastor/speaker recently said, “When you begin to better yourself those who are for you will celebrate in your triumphs and pray with you through your tribulations.” Wise words and terrific ones to live by.

There are few things better than having true friends, and others who care for and love you unconditionally. But, the more success you have the more opposition you will attract. Not everyone will understand you, not everyone will like you, and not everyone will applaud you, however, these aren’t battles which must be won.

Be proud of your gifts, they’re god-given; and if others would like to come along for the ride, so much the better.

Thanks for listening…

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