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At a time of year when most people are being relentlessly positive and talking about what they want to do next year, let’s go against the grain and talk about what we don’t want to do: hang out with bad people.
Part of being a successful person, whether in dating women, in business or otherwise, means surrounding yourself with good, healthy influences. The temptation is to keep all of your existing influences (your existing social circles) around you, regardless of how little they contribute to your current endeavours – because none of us like to “cut the cord” of a relationship or friendship that we have had for a while.
But to be successful, you have to be ruthless with the social circles you maintain. Every so often, it’s a good idea to do a status check on your friends and ask the question, “Is hanging out with these people conducive to achieving my current goals?”
When you start improving your dating life, a lot of people who are not good with women and uninterested in improving that area of their life will hold you back. They may criticise you, judge you or be otherwise unsupportive. This is not going to make the work you need to do easier!
So be ruthless with the people you choose to spend your time with. I periodically “cull” my social circles to make sure I have the best influences around me for achieving my current goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I stop being friends with people, just that I am careful how much of my time I devote to maintaining those relationships.
Here are some characteristics of highly unsuccessful people to watch out for. These are qualities you should both check in yourself and in the social circles you choose to maintain.
1. They discuss problems instead of devising solutions
Do you ever sit around with certain people and discuss issues in current affairs, your jobs, your relationships etc.? Have you ever noticed that most people are quick to offer their analysis of “what is wrong” with something, without actually offering a solution on how to fix it? A classic example is that a lot of people are quick to criticise the way an established government runs the country without offering alternative solutions. People literally spend hours talking about this. What a waste of time!
Unsuccessful people love to criticise and offer their perspective on why something isn’t the way it should be. They do this because it helps them to feel intelligent and secure when other people listen to them and agree with their expert analysis.
The successful man isn’t concerned with appearing intelligent or having others listen to his wandering thoughts: he focuses his time on devising solutions instead of talking about problems.
Don’t hang out with people who complain and criticise a lot. They are problem-focused people and unlikely to amount to much in life.
2. They focus energy on maintenance rather than growth
If you’re not growing, you’re wasting your time. True happiness comes from constantly striving to achieve new goals: growing further and learning new things.
Many people think, “If I can just get that one thing and maintain it forever, I’ll be happy.”
This is a fallacy, as evidenced by all the people in unhappy marriages and bad relationships that were once good, and those who worked and trained hard to get highly desirable jobs that no longer please them.
We evolve over time and what we want changes. We should continually set the bar higher and be trying to achieve new things. If you spend time with people who work to maintain the status quo of their lives, you will notice that they seem listless and bored. Avoid these people and spend time with those who like to grow.
3. They want what others want instead of what they want
If you ask someone why they want something, whether it’s a harem full of beautiful women, one true love, or a social circle full of models and actresses, they should be able to tell you exactly why they want it.
If you keep asking, “Why?” of them and the final answer is, “Because that’s what I should want” or “Because I have always wanted that,” then they have no good reason to want it. They are simply seeking it because the world had conditioned them to seek it.
People who work towards goals without understanding why they are working towards them are wasting their time. One day they will wake up and realise that they didn’t even want to achieve those goals in the first place: that they were the goals of others rather than their own.
Surround yourself with people who are working hard but understand why they are working hard.
4. They explain themselves to those whom do not matter
When you reject or question the status quo, people around you will typically challenge you and criticise you.
It’s tempting to defend your viewpoints to anyone who challenges it, but when you do so you accept that their view is more important than yours. This is your life, therefore their view of it is less important than yours.
Don’t waste time explaining your endeavours, thoughts and passions to those whom you do not recognise a similar or higher level of achievement in. You are not here to persuade others around to share your viewpoint, you are here to achieve your goals – regardless of whether the rest of the world shares them or not.
5. They talk a lot about what they are going to do
Unsuccessful people talk a lot in the future tense. They always have plans, ideas and outlines for what they are going to do, but spend very little time implementing these plans.
Don’t talk constantly about your plans. The more time you spend talking about them, the less time you are spending actually implementing them.
The world is full of unsuccessful people with great ideas and seemingly high ambitions, but very few people put in the time and energy that is necessary to realise those ideas and ambitions.
Avoid people who talk a lot in the future tense!
6. They engage in short-term solutions
Unsuccessful people seek short-term relief from their unhappiness by distracting themselves from their problems rather than addressing them with sustainable and real solutions.
Excessive drinking, smoking, and promiscuity are often symptoms of this. This is not a judgment on those things: I know people that are very successful that do enjoy an occasional cigarette, drink or like to have casual sex. But they are doing it because they enjoy those things, rather than as distractions from other problems they may have.
Long-term solutions to problems take effort to implement, but are ultimately worth it. Anything you use to distract yourself from the problem will give you a few moments’ respite, but leave you unsatisfied in the long-term.
7. They lie, cheat or steal as a solution
People who lie, cheat or steal in order to achieve a goal do not really achieve it, but have simply manipulated a false outcome. Inevitably, the outcome will not be sustainable, or it will not give them the real happiness they sought.
Don’t hang out with people that use these methods to achieve their goals. They may seem successful at times, but their success is precarious and short-lived. Inside, they are deeply unhappy people and know that they will never achieve real success.
Be careful whom you spend your time with. Unhealthy influences pervade the world. Learn to recognise them and steer clear of them – your success in life depends on it.
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