If You Want To Change Your Life You Have To Change Your Friends First

Changing your life can only start with changing your reality – changing the way you perceive the world. The common mistake is to think that changing your location, your job, your car, your clothes, and a bunch of other material things is enough to make a change for the better. The fact is, it’s not.

In order to reinvent your life, you have to reinvent yourself. You have to rebuild yourself. Now, how does a person rebuild himself, changing the way he perceives the world, changing the person that he is, and so changing his life? A person is not much more than his experiences coupled with how he perceives those experiences and how he chooses to act in response to those experiences.

I don’t want to bring up the whole nature versus nurture debacle, but let’s agree that our nature influences the way we perceive the world and the way we respond to it. If nature isn’t a variable that can change, then we should forget about it and move on to the things in our lives that are mutable.

While material items are the easiest to change, the truth is that they have the least affect on our mentality. Will a million dollars make you happy? Of course. Will it change the philosophy you have on life? Probably, but only because of what it took to make that million dollars. If you worked for it, then the experience of earning it will have changed you.

If you won it in the lottery, then nothing will have really changed except the experiences you are now financially capable of having in the future. Physical things are accompanied with certain experiences, but if we are wanting a grand change then we should be efficient and focus on changing the things that will result in the greatest positive change in the way we perceive the world. Material items don't comprise one of those things.

In the world we live in today, our lives are completely entrenched in the established social construct. It’s been so for centuries, only increasing with each decade. Technology has brought socialization to a new level, focusing on quantity versus the quality of our interactions. Nevertheless, one truth remains the same: Our entire existence and happiness relies on the interactions we have with others. We cannot be happy alone forever and the interactions we do have influence or moods and thoughts more than anything else.

It all really relates to the people in our lives. Only they have the incredible ability to make us immensely happy or incomprehensibly miserable. They are living things that can act upon us and affect our lives in ways that little else can. We spend more time thinking about people than anything else. They populate our consciousness because the majority of our lives are spent in the presence of others.

Since we can’t technically control all the people we come into contact with throughout our lives, in order to change our lives, we should focus on changing those that are a part of our lives by choice. I’m not sure I can say that no friends are better than bad friends – for sanity’s sake – but since most have a third option, it doesn’t really matter.

You can choose to find different friends. You can choose to find better friends and let go of those who are plaguing your life. That is what they are doing – plaguing your existence. Every unpleasant interaction, every ridiculous shared thought, idea and concept takes you further away from where you want to be.

While we can choose to ignore opinions that we consider to be stupid, they still make an impression on our psyche. With constant repetition, which usually is the case with your closer friends, those words can have a serious negative impact on your life. Personally, every time someone says something that I know to be ignorant or plain wrong, I get frustrated.

People’s stupidity frustrates me and I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. The wrong friends have a way of making us feel bad – whether or not we realize it or are willing to admit it is another story. The outlook on life that our friends have likewise rubs off on us overtime. Realities have this knack for synchronizing when people spend a good amount of time with one another. You are, in very large part, who your friends are. Not because you choose it to be so, but because they physically influence the way you think and the way you perceive the world.

Bad friends are the difference between a great life and a crappy one. They hold us back, bring us down and force upon us their skewed and ugly version of reality. You can change every physical aspect about you, but if you keep the same people around you, then the one thing that needs to change never will; you’ll never start to think and see the world differently.

You will remain trapped in the reality bubble that your friends are keeping you in. People usually don’t want to let go of their friends because of loyalty, but what good is loyalty when it only hurts those involved? You’re likely better off without some of your friends, if not all, and are not doing yourself any favors but accepting your life for what it is.

With new friends comes new experiences, new thoughts and ideas, new beliefs and memories and, most importantly, a new side of reality. Your world -- your life -- is basically a sum of your interactions with the physical world. People are simply those physical things that are most influential and most memorable. They make up your life more than anything else. Until you surround yourself with the right people, you’ll never live the life you want to live.

Photo credit: Cristian Alvarado

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