A month ago, I wrote about simplifying my life in regards to the projects, activities, jobs, and hobbies I had. I made a promise to myself to cut down on things that took so much of my time. In doing so, I’ve allowed more time to excel at the projects I continued. I’ve got a job I love, I’ve moved to a much better location, and I’ve had time for my family, Kelli, the Sunbelt series, and riding. My life, and my outlook on it, have significantly improved in the last 5 weeks.
However, if you know me, you know I get bored when everything starts going well. If all the problems are solved, I’m ready to move on to some sort of fixer-upper. Lucky for me, this last month has given me many opportunities to put out fires, figure out solutions, and make things right. What has me stumped now, though, is what I’ve had to put up with while doing the right thing (or what I thought was the right thing).
I’ve noticed a good number of people have focused their lives on finding issues with what other people are doing. They take the time to dissect someone else’s life or activity and point out the negative, the flawed, and the inconsistent. I’ve seen many-a-person ready and willing to knock me back a step and rain on my parade. What’s good isn’t good enough and what’s bad is catastrophic. I’ve been the target of a lot of disgust and dissatisfaction.
Then, one day, I caught myself in their shoes; offering negative criticism on something trivial to someone who was doing their best.
It was then and there I knew I had to change something. Katt Williams said it best when he said, “Haters are not born. No, no. Haters are MADE.” I had fallen into the rut of criticizing others in order to forget about my flaws.
Since that day, I’ve made it a point to build others up. Wish them luck, safe travels, or a tailwind on the road. Thank them for doing what they do every day. I’ve come to understand no friend should be a critic. Friends should offer help, offer advice, and wish the best for each other. I believe a true friend will help you build a ship destined to sink. Those who stand by and ignore your efforts, or mock them, are neither friends nor people deserving of your time or emotional currency (Yes, I stole that from some book somewhere).
Not only have I built up some great karma, but I also look forward to the day when I begin purging my “friends” as I’ve purged my surplus of hobbies. As life continues, I plan to slowly weed out the negative influences in my life and surround myself with only those that build me up.
I encourage you to at least think along the same lines. How many of your friends tear your down every time you hang out? How many spend their time helping you be your best? I really think you’ll be surprised how uneven those numbers are.