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Home » Confidence Building, Decision Making, Featured, Headline, Inspirational, Motivation, Problem Solving, Self Esteem

The Company We Keep…and Kept

Submitted by on July 1, 2012 – 11:07 pmNo Comment

by John Cane

I was recently talking with a very successful businessman who brought up a conversation he heard from family members in regards to why their lot in life, their current lifestyle is the way it is.  His comment was something along the lines of, “Why do they spend their time commiserating over that stuff?”  I got the impression he was using the term ‘commiserating’ in the sense they were disappointed or they were unfortunate in how their lives were predetermined, so to speak.  He elaborated a little further in that they felt they became the way they did because of their upbringing.

As we are growing up we don’t know the “world” so we have a tendency to move in a direction we are guided in by those who are closest to us.  We know the “world” and what it’s supposed to be about based on what we are told and conditioned to believe…to an extent.

I once had a dog, named Rocky that absolutely loved me unconconditionally.  My mailman use to say, “You are Rocky’s world”.  When I would take him out for a walk at night (back when there weren’t any leash laws), I would let him get ahead of me and then I would hide behind a tree and watch his reaction when he would turn to see if I was still with him.  I saw it as playing hide and seek.  I realized how much I was his “world” when he would suddenly see I wasn’t there—he actually looked worried as he frantically searched for me across lawns, streets and behind trees.

Now I understand I am describing the behavior of my dog and by no means am I comparing his behavior to humans.  I will say this though, research on dogs supports that based on how we domestically raise them doesn’t allow them to ever become emotionally mature; meaning they never grow up—they remain “children” in a sense, and so their dependency on us.

The company we kept as children may not have been our choice, however the company we keep as an adult is.  When the person above asked, “Why do they spend their time commiserating over that stuff?”,  the first thing that jumped out at me was, “…spend their time…”. Not to sound cliché, but we do spend time.  We can use it wisely and efficiently or disrespect it by wasting it, exhausting it and squandering it as if it has no value at all.  When we expend our life’s energy we pay out.  If there is no return on the expenditure we are throwing the moment away and moments lead to days, months and years.

You can tell by the company you keep now if you are just using up energy on a daily basis or if you feel recharged every day.  Who do you surround yourself with and what are you buying into?  Is there a return on your emotional investment?  As Eckhart Tolle put it, “You wouldn’t eat food that makes you sick, why would you have thoughts that make you sick?”

Please understand I sympathize with anyone who has or had a harsh and unjustifiable upbringing; however we do get to a point in our lives where we are capable of realizing we can make our own choices…and we do on a moment to moment daily basis.  You can choose.

About the Author

John Cane is a motivational speaker and writer who develops and implements confidence and self-esteem workshops in North Carolina, South Carolina, and New York. With a background in Psychology, John has six certifications in Personal Growth and Development.  His Journal Books, ‘Important Things I Remember from My Parents’ are used in schools and as an aid for adults in gaining strength in self identity in the United States and Europe.

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