We have learned through the years that being positive, sleeping well, eating right, and exercising greatly impact our overall well-being. But, there’s a more significant factor shaping your ability to live the life you want. So, I ask, “Who’s on your bus?” Who have you asked to ride with you on the journey of your life?
Your bus only has so much fuel. Are the other passengers adding to or draining your energy? If you wish your bus was traveling faster, more efficiently, or in another direction I believe it is critical to assess the people you share time and space with. It is unlikely that these people have no effect on you. They are either a positive or negative energy source which leads to you living your best life or not.
Let’s talk about who’s likely to be on your bus:
• Significant Other/ Spouse
• Business Partner
• Employees/ Boss
• Coaches – Spiritual, Physical and Financial
• Significant Other/ Spouse – It is critical that your life partner believes in you and supports you. Remember that the person you’re marrying is not a casual date. This is a lifelong partnership, representing a promise between the two of you and God. The relationship relies on both of you giving, nourishing, caring, and paying attention to the details of the relationship. Many times when there is trouble in a relationship, we tend to ignore our own faults and focus solely on our partner’s. So slow down, pay attention to the most important person in your life, and communicate. Your spouse is your back up driver, and therefore the most important person on your bus.
• Business Partner – Do you share the same vision? Are you both putting energy towards that vision? If your business partner is not a positive addition to your opportunity attend to it immediately or separate quickly. Partnerships that are bad are so emotionally draining there is little hope to reach maximum potential. Honesty and discussion can often lead to better direction. In a relationship, it is better if we talk in positive, reflective and understanding conversations. If you want a partnership to work, you need to listen more than you talk. You need to care more than you complain. You need to self examine more than you criticize.
• Co-workers – Life is too short to not enjoy it. If you work with someone who is caustic then you need to change the environment, circumstances, or maybe even the job. Again, I believe that being honest with someone and engaging in positive, reflective, and understanding discussions usually results in better solutions. But if not possible, find an environment that energizes and does not depress.
• Employees/ Boss – I remember when I thought employees were just tools. It was really about me, not about them. The day I learned that my employees were essential to my success, that I needed to give them their own space, and allow them to make mistakes so they could grow into their full potential was the day I became a better leader, and received so much more in return. If you have an employee that is not capable, or is not willing to own their space, and doesn’t have pride in being the best they can be, let them off your bus nicely. Conversely, if you have a boss who’s not willing to let you do the above and you greatly desire this, get off their bus. Hire people that are willing and want to take ownership for their work. It’s not about being nice, it’s about being qualified. My success is built from the employees that are on our team. Be careful about who you let on the bus, be careful about who you let stay on the bus, and be careful about whose bus you get on.
• Clients/Patrons/Patients – The people that you serve in your business dictate the personality and ultimately the company you’re creating. If you build your business serving people that are positive, caring, and successful you’ll find that it’s easier for your employees and business to be positive, caring, and successful too. So be intentional about who you work with or who you’re going to serve as you go forward. This isn’t something that happens in one day, but over the long-term you can dictate and control the personality of your business environment.
• Friends – You work all day and strive to be your best, and then you come home or spend time after work with friends. To be emotionally healthy it is important to have friends, but are they positive and uplifting? Do they have positive habits? Are they healthy both mentally and physically? If they are not be careful. The environment you put yourself in will either drain your energy or energize you. This happens gradually, by osmosis, and affects your mental outlook on life. If your friends are not positive to your life, find others. A few positive friends are better than a dozen who spread their negativity and unhealthy perspectives. Make sure those who you invite on your bus give you strength to be better, and don’t support your weaknesses.
• Family – We could write a novel about family dynamics and how they impact us both positively and negatively. There are times when yes, we’d like to boot some family members off the bus, but it is my belief that it’s not up to us whether they stay on the bus or not. I believe God has reserved seating on our buses for our family members for the duration of our journey. With most families, if we focus more on the positive and learn how to engage in healthy ways and stop hurtful and disruptive patterns of communication and interaction, the ride with our family can be the most rewarding.
• Coaches – Spiritual, Physical and Financial – All your coaches need to tell you the truth. Not what you want to hear, but what you must hear in order to become stronger spiritually, physically or financially. My pastor challenges me every week in what I believe, how I believe it, and how I implement my faith in a positive fulfilling way in my life. I challenge my clients every day to stay systematic, unemotional, and diversified. It is critical to be challenged, so you stay on track towards living a better life!
If you are not careful, your bus won’t be worth getting on. Make sure that those around you are allowing you to be the best you can be. They can’t keep you from making mistakes, but they can be there to support you when you do. They can’t promise that you will always be happy, but they can make you feel better when you’re feeling down. They can’t promise that you will reach all your dreams, but they can be there to celebrate with you when you achieve some.
Success is made up of personal, familial and business relationships and circumstances that are positive and moving forward. Assess who’s on your bus and move forward!