Of all the decisions you can make, there are none more important than determining those with whom you will associate. You can't pick your family or your circumstances early in life, but you can pick everyone else. Those choices will have profound effects on the course of your life and career; ultimately they will accumulate and become your legacy.
As a youth, choosing friends provides the earliest opportunities to get it right, or learn quickly and redirect if you get it wrong. Sometimes others choose you, but not always for admirable reasons. Their motives may be genuine, but can also be based on a perceived ability to influence, manipulate, or even dominate others in the worst of circumstances. Early habits formed here can be difficult to break later in life. Attentive parenting helps guide these choices, although that alone is not always sufficient.
As we grow up, more of our people choices belong to us: broader circles of friends, clubs, schools, work associates and community involvement. These choices have massive influence on the quality of our lives on a day-to-day basis, which is exactly how we live them.
"The company you keep” has the power to either short-circuit a life's potential, or guide one on a path of a life well-lived. I've witnessed both ends of the spectrum and have seen that the path taken hinges upon a crystal clear decision regarding "the company you keep". When things aren't going as they should be, the hope is for a wake-up call before it’s too late. Some hear it; sadly, others are tuned to a different frequency when the message goes out.
My long-held belief is that great companies are built by inspired people with shared purpose, working together in an environment of mutual respect and trust. Those inspired people are brought together by choice and circumstances; they stay together if they benefit and strengthen each other over time.
Choose the company you keep wisely and – Enjoy the Journey!