Add New Characters to Your Life Story
Look at the people currently in your life and ask yourself, “Why are they here?”
“What role do they play?”
I’m not talking about relatives or family, but the people you CHOOSE to be in your life, in your circle, tribe, posse or whatever you like to call it.
Think about it. "How did they get here?"
"Why are they still around… AND SHOULD THEY EVEN STILL BE HERE"
It has become fashionable lately to quote the phrase, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
There is a lot of truth to that. I BELIEVE IT.
But recognizing who that circle really is… and then actually DOING something to cut, add or improve it is a different matter. That’s the hard part.
I’ve done a lot of evaluating, cutting and adding to my circle over the past few months.
Either organically or purposefully I’ve recently eliminated about ten people from my life who weren’t just failing to bring value to the friendship or my life, but they in fact were taking away from it.
I was reminded of it this morning after an encounter with a longtime friend.
There are times when someone has been in your life for a long time but you realize that that relationship hasn’t evolved and it is not going to.
You’re on repeat. Your relationship is on an infinite loop, like Groundhog Day,
While at one point your relationship had a mutual purpose or common ground, it no longer exists and that person is really only in your life out of familiarity, comfort, convenience, history or habit.
These people may not be really bad for you (sometimes they are)... but they sure as hell AREN'T GOOD for you.
They aren’t helping you raise your game. They aren’t helping you to become the man or woman you need to be, to level up, to support you as you grow, evolve or change.
These aren’t the vanilla or beige friends… neutral as it were. They are a shade darker because they want the status quo.
They want you to stay on the same page, meanwhile YOU are looking to advance the story.
It’s time to turn the page and YOU have to be the one to do it.
And that's hard. You may think it is cold but it’s not. It is natural and necessary. (It’s the circle of life Simba 😉)
Look at your life as a book.
You are the author and editor.
This book has many different chapters and different characters.
As with any story some characters appear consistently throughout the entire book. Sometimes a character will appear, leave and then show up again many chapters later. Sometimes a character will show up briefly in one chapter and have a major impact only to then disappear, having served their purpose in the overall story.
The only consistent character, the protagonist, is YOU.
But more importantly YOU also play the role of editor and author.
You control the plot and the narrative.
And YOU control which characters appear in this book of your life story.
Think about who is in your life now. Who is a recurring character? Who is a pain in the ass and needs to go? Who is contributing to the story? Who is a bit player or an “extra” not really adding anything?
What characters do you want to see or NEED to have appear in the next chapter to move the story forward?
Perhaps it is time kill off a character, have them go on a long trip or say goodbye… or maybe it’s just time for YOU to end this scene and start a new chapter.
Some large companies have a concept called "top grading” where every year they evaluate employees, identify the bottom 10% of performers and get rid of them to make room for better employees. Sounds kind of harsh but it's actually a great idea if you are looking to grow and improve a company. Same with your life.
I've been “top grading” my life and my circle this past year and have culled the herd dramatically. I suggest you do the same if you’re looking to grow, achieve and succeed.
That doesn’t make you a callous jack ass who coldly dismisses people who no longer serve a purpose.
I’m not talking about getting rid of people who are neutral or harmless.
Eliminate people who are “energy sucks”
Get rid of the critics or the negative nellies who always have a reason why NOT or why something “WON’T work, but who never offer a solution, an alternative or even a “it’s not for me, but you’ve got this. I’ve got your back”
Mercilessly edit “drama queens” out of your story and eliminate one sided “takers” or anyone who leaves you feeling “drained” rather than energized after spending time with them.
But you’re thinking, "We went to school together." "I’ve known him ten years.” “They are an ex I’m still friends with.” "We have history." "We used to work together.”
This doesn’t mean scorching the earth, shooting the middle fingers or telling someone “you suck and I’ve outgrown you” or leaving any bad blood (ok sometimes it can)… but in most cases (an in my particular case today) it means they get no more energy or attention… the page turns and new characters will enter.
That doesn’t make them bad or discount what they’ve done or what you've had together in the past. They played a great character and served the role they were meant to in previous chapters… but they don’t belong in this story anymore.
In fact they are hurting your story, they are bad for the plot and the main character YOU.
Write them out of the book and don’t include them in the next chapter.
Make room for new characters to improve YOUR life story.
YOU are both the writer and the star.
Turn the page.