Monday, March 9, 2009

Product of your environment

Today I thought about people that I surround myself by and how they share the same goals, aspirations, and qualities as me. I guess the law of attraction is as accurate as they say it is. For some reason people who are like minded gravitate towards each other. I do not know if its because a particular group of people find a comfort zone with each other or if its because that cluster of people are more driven and focused by surrounding themselves with the same type of people. Every group has a stamp of generalization branded upon them. By this I mean a label that is convenient and adheres to the laws of social psychology. A prime example of this is when a group of people who are deeply religious travel together some people might call them the "church folk" or when a group of really smart kids travel in packs they call them the "nerds". These are classifications that distinguish different groups based upon the alignment of common ideologies.

It seems so cliche but its true, the people who you surround yourself with define who you are and vice versa. People's attributes rub off on you. For example if you surround yourself by intelligent people the the likelihood of you becoming intelligent is higher. A paradigm of this is in the IV league schools where the rigorous coursework and the competitive atmosphere breeds stellar students. This is not to say that if you do not go to an IV league school you won’t be a stellar student, but you have a greater chance of becoming a top notch student by attending an IVY League school where everybody competes to get the highest grade! Thus the high graduation rate at prestigious schools. On the other hand for people who do not value their education the same thing applies. A situation that personifies this concept is one where all your friends drop out of high school then you will be more likely to drop out of high school too. A result of this is the high dropout rates in teh inner city public schools. Social psychology theories explain how people are more prone to partake in an activity if everybody else around them is doing the same thing. This can be seen in an activity as simple as an audience clapping. When one person claps another person will stand up to clap and the rest of the audience begins clapping. This is a perfect illustration of how social psychology rules our daily social interactions and our human connection.

This is also seen when you are competing in a sport. For instance if you are a basketball player and you train with Michael Jordan this will make you way better than any other basketball player. Of course you need to have some raw talent the same mentality but training with him will give you an edge on the competition. Or if you train with a wrestler that is better than you, you will have a chance to improve your skills and compete at the highest level possible. Again it comes down to who you choose to be a part of your supporting cast. The same thing goes for negativity and positivity. When you hang out with people that have a negative mindset that attitude will surely permeate your life and influence your thoughts and actions. Positivity works the same way. If you are positive-minded the positivity will work out in your best interest and brighten up your day whenever you are feeling down or gloomy.

This is also seen in everyday things such as people that you associate yourself with repeating your actions or sayings. For example if I frequently use a certain phrase and I spend a lot of time around you, you will naturally start to use that same phrase, it is just human nature and its bound to happen! A scenario where this is seen often is with slang. If I greet my friend with "wassup man" everyday he will most likely start to use the same phrase. The same thing goes for actions and personalities. If I hang out with a person that constantly puts other people down then it is just a matter of time before I will surely repeat this act.

These are my thoughts on how you can become a product of your environment. Some people are able to resist the negative external influences. Some of these are the strongest people mentally; they are able to resist any actions that are not their own and tend to be negative they rather choose to embrace the positive influences! This is Arod signing off until next time!

1 comment:

  1. i agree with what you purport; however, there are exceptions to the way the game is played. i feel that if a person really wants to change they will, but then again many people are lazy and will find the easiest way. that's why i think there are more "followers" than "leaders." then again i think that much of this is due to culture, the culture and country we live in. in no way am i knocking the US, but things are so much easier for us. let's truly think about this now: our food choices alone are an indication. we live life in the fast lane and yearn for that instant gratification. that's where i think most kids get caught up in. it's easier to keep that hustle going when you see that money coming in, but it's not so easy to see the benefits that you are reaping in $100,000 in student loans, living paycheck to paycheck.

    you and i are the exceptions. look at what we do and the things we are involved in. once we made that decision to change we learned to surround ourselves with people who are like minded. life can be really tough at times, but life gets better. this is just my take on it, i hope it makes sense.

    -manda, out-