Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Negating the negative - the need for positive peers

This is a criticism of magnets.

Because magnets teach us a horrible, horrible lesson:

Something positive needs to pair with something negative.

Baloney, magnets. Baloney.

Here is the reality – you won’t always have control of the people you are around, but you will always have control of the people you surround yourself with.

And you don’t need to follow the rules of magnets. You don't need the negative.

Instead, you need to surround yourself with the positive – peers who will support and uplift you, and who are heading in a direction you respect and admire.
One of the key reasons I share in my book about why students at community colleges need to get involved in their on-campus clubs, organizations, and honors societies is that those peer-support networks offer the opportunity to build a community of positive friends with similar goals and similar levels of engagement.

The deal with growing up and moving towards your goals is understanding that:
  1. You have to do the climbing yourself.
  2. The people in your life will influence how high you think you can go, and ultimately, how high you will go. 
Your future depends on your ability to make sure that your peers and inner-circle have your best interests in mind, and lift you up 99% more than they pull you down. 

Never stop surrounding yourself with positive people -- those who challenge you intellectually, but support you emotionally, and those who want you to succeed because it inspires their success. Their success should also inspire you.

And remember that sometimes you will have to move on from those in your life who aren't positive - those who don't offer you the kind of support, stimulation, and growth that results from every positive relationship.

Because peers are powerful. And community college is not the 13th grade. It is college. And it is an amazing opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and surround yourself with people who lift you up and move you forward. 

And that might require you to defy the laws of magnets (save them for the fridge), linking positives with positives, watching both of you bolt upwards towards excellence you could have never achieved alone.

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