January 12, 2011

Surround Yourself in Safety

Day 12: 16.4 miles/1:04

“The people you surround yourself with are your external voices; make sure what they are saying and sharing is what you need to hear, learn, know, and feel.

Today’s thoughts were initiated by a conversation I had with Brandon about the people he surrounds himself around.  Earlier this week, he was a little bored with the surroundings I had left him in during a meeting I had and decided to take the light rail for a short ride.  Unfortunately, it took him into the region where all of his bad influences hang out.  While I recognize and understand his desire to find something to do, especially in this holding pattern while waiting to enter his rehab program, I told him I didn’t understand why he took such a risk venturing into that neighborhood.  He had trouble seeing the connection between his actions and my concerns.  This is how we came to having the talk about the people you surround yourself with and the associated thoughts I am about to share with you.


The people we surround ourselves with are the people who are going to have a significant influence over our thoughts, feelings, ideas, and beliefs. They cannot control us or determine our success and our failure.  However, they are the people whose messages, stories, attitudes, and influences can slow us down, interrupt our thinking, or derail our plans.  They are also the people who can inspire us, hold us accountable, teach us, mentor us, and keep us on our paths.  The type of people we maintain contact with will have a great deal of influence on us and our future accomplishments.


Part of a transition to a new life, a new commitment, and the challenges associated with it is becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable.  That means getting familiar with the process of finding and creating new environments that support your new goals.  Part of change is letting go of old habits, friends, hangouts, groups, or neighborhoods—anything that can have an adverse effect on your passion and commitment.  Anything that has the ability to interrupt change or progress needs to be avoided, if not eliminated.  This does not mean you turn your back on everyone, for some people can respect and support your commitment.  However, there are clearly components in your life that will likely never adapt or support your change or your new perspective.  Shed them, avoid them, or replace them.  They are only going to derail your program.


Instead, you surround yourself with people who are wiser, more experienced, and positive about the quest you have in your life.  You find people who will mentor, inspire, and support you.  These are the people who will simultaneously hug you and hold you accountable for your actions.  These are the people who are going to keep you on track.  As discussed earlier, momentum is a valuable commodity—these are the folks who are going to help you maintain or increase the velocity of your activity.


Your journey will include challenging and lonely days.  Sometimes simply pushing harder may not be enough.  That is why having trusted and reliable resources that can support, inspire and nudge you through them are so important.  When you surround yourself with the voices of accomplishment, passion, success, and support, you are making yourself accessible to the tools and resources that will help you maintain momentum on your journey as you strive towards your goals.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.