This is part of our Rich Habits series.
Be sure to check out all previous habits we’ve covered.
Who we associate with on a regular basis affects the level of success we experience in life. One of the hallmarks of successful people is the conscious effort they make to associate with other like-minded successful people. One of the hallmarks of poor people is the conscious effort they make to associate with other poor people.
Human beings pick their herds. They seek out others who they feel comfortable around and they surround themselves with these like-minded people. Typically, these are individuals who have similar, if not identical habits. It’s the birds of a feather flock together maxim.
We Choose to Be Rich or Poor, by Association
Rich by Association means we intentionally surround ourselves with other people who have Rich Habits we’d like to adopt. If you exercise regularly, you likely have friends who exercise regularly. If you have the frugal Rich Habit, you very likely have friends who are frugal. If you are a saver, you probably have friends who are savers. If you have a positive outlook on life, your friends probably do too.
Poor by Association means we intentionally surround ourselves with individuals who have similar Poor Habits as we do. Overweight people tend to surround themselves with friends who are overweight. Those struggling financially tend to associate with others struggling financially. Gamblers like to hang out with gamblers. The same with drinkers, or those who take drugs.
Change Your Relationships, Change Your Life
Because habits spread like a virus, we pick up most of our habits from those in our social network. If you want to change your life for the better, you must change who you associate with on a daily basis. You must surround yourself with individuals who have the Rich Habits you’d like to adopt and avoid or eliminate Toxic Relationships.
Toxic Relationships have certain unique characteristics:
- Poor Habit Types – These are individuals who have more Poor Habits than Rich Habits. They don’t read to learn, they don’t exercise, they spend more than they make, they get angry often, they are sad or depressed often, they don’t call you on your birthday, they don’t recognize a life event, they eat too much, they watch too much TV, they spend hours every day on Facebook or Snapchat or Twitter, they gamble regularly, they drink too much alcohol, they take drugs, they cheat on their spouse, they say hurtful or sarcastic things, they do the bare minimum at work, they have difficulty maintaining relationships with others, they gossip, they lie, they cheat or steal.
- Negative Types – These people always seem depressed, down, pessimistic, angry, unhappy and ungrateful. They envy those who are doing well in life. They ridicule anyone trying to better their lives. They seem to always have a negative opinion. To them, the world is a mean, unfair and painful existence. They drown their misery in drugs or alcohol. They have very powerful biases. They see life as unfair and embrace any ideology that advocates for the punishment of those who are rich and successful.
- Deceptive Types – These are perpetual liars. They cannot be trusted. They seek, by whatever means necessary, to take what is not theirs. They are adept at spinning the truth. They are experts in rationalizing their bad behavior. Nothing is ever their fault. They are never to blame. They see others as marks and targets, not people.
- Critical Types – These are very critical of others. They seem to always have an opinion that is critical of something. They condemn and blame society, the government, their parents, the schools, their boss, their spouse, etc. Everything is a problem. Nothing is ever straight forward or simple to them. They complain about everything in their lives and every person in their life. They are very rarely happy and never grateful for what they have.
- Backstabber Types – These are people you cannot trust. They are not only looking out for their own interest, they have a maniacal habit of hurting their relationships either intentionally or unintentionally. They have very low self-esteem and confidence, and do not like anyone who is trying to better their life. They love to gossip about others. They have no long-term relationships and move from one new relationship to the next, causing havoc wherever they go. The danger with backstabbers is that you never see it coming. They wear a mask when they are in your presence that belies their true selves. You only find out who they really are after the damage is done.
- Financial Train Wreck Types – They are always deep in debt, borrowing money from their friends and family and never repaying that debt. They are perpetually unemployed, in between jobs, jumping from one career to the next. There is always one emergency after another and they have a nasty habit of calling upon you at the last minute to bail them out. As a result, they consume a great deal of your time and money.
- Lazy Types – These types are always looking for the home run and quick fixes to easy money. They do not want to put in the time and effort to achieve success. They believe success is about random good luck. They approach others with business opportunities that can’t miss. They do not invest time in their relationships, in their careers or in their businesses. They gamble. They get others to invest their money in their latest schemes. They take irrational risk, rather than calculated risk.
- Victim Types – Victim types have an entitlement mindset. They believe those who are doing better in life have an obligation to help those who are struggling financially in life. They see the wealthy as beneficiaries of mere good luck. Conversely, they see themselves as the victims of mere bad luck. They do not take individual responsibility for their lives. They do not blame themselves for their financial circumstances. They feel they just got a raw deal in life.
- Addicted Types – They are addicted to drugs, food, alcohol, gambling, sex, risk, you name it. They have no control over their behavior. They have no willpower. They always let you down. Their lives are a mess. Their relationships are a mess. Their finances are a mess. They are leeches who will suck the life out of you.
Avoid those with more Poor Habits than Rich Habits, and associate yourself instead with like-minded successful people.
Tom is a CPA and the author of the best-selling book, “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.” He will be sharing a new habit with us every Thursday as part of our Rich Habits Series, and can be found online at RichHabits.net.