Ripples #1156: Heading Toward Light

Ripples #1156: Heading Toward Light
July 19, 2021


You know how flowers head toward bright light seeking to grow? Do that.
Aim yourself at people and things that brighten your day and help you thrive.
-Karen Salmansohn, shared by Jen in Wisconsin


The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves. We become like our friends. People don’t become great on their own. The people around them help to make them great. We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose, and challenge us to become the best version of ourselves.
-Matthew Kelly (adapted slightly), shared by Nick in Indiana via Team Ripples


Think about people you encounter in your life at least occasionally: those you work with, live with, play with, etc. If I asked you identify a few people whose presence consistently brightens your day, could you easily think of a couple? What about people whose presence leaves you feeling depleted even after brief encounters?

A big focus of my work is helping people connect more effectively with others and also more consistently bring their best available selves to work, school, and life. One of the ways to do both at the same time is by spending MORE time around people who infuse energy into your day, and spend a little LESS time around people who drain you.

You might think that your best option is to delete the drainers from your life if you want to have any semblance of sanity. Here’s my take: I don’t think you have to completely *eliminate* their presence in your life in order to have more light in your life. This is good news because in plenty of situations you CAN’T eliminate them–they may be a coworker, neighbor, or even a loved one that you genuinely care about even though they are also hard to be around.

Instead, there are often small steps that can make a make a big difference: minimizing the length of time you spend around them, managing your expectations around what time with them is like, and focusing on the upsides of their existence in your life.



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