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  • Writer's picturedennisharris04

It Takes More Than a Village

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

We have all heard the term it takes a village to raise a child and I believe we can apply a similar mindset when it comes to our inner circle, and the people we surround ourselves with daily. All you have to do is take a look at successful sports teams or businesses. No one person in either would be solely prosperous without the right support. So what do I mean it takes more than a village? I believe that as you grow older in life that we all need to surround ourselves with like-minded people who have achieved more or are at least trying to achieve on the same level as you.

Have you heard it said that you are the sum of the five people you are around the most? So what do you think would happen if those five people were consistently negative, had no goals or aspirations in life? No matter how strong you are from a mental aspect, there is a good chance you would start taking on those traits.

I remember being in a very dark and down place years ago and found myself with a girl who lacked confidence and self-drive. After a couple of years of being with her, I had taken on some of those traits and was a little taken back and disappointed with myself. I started to realize that if I stayed, that I would become all the things that I worked so hard not to be and would wake up one day with regret of not accomplishing the type of life I wanted for myself. That was the point where I started to pull myself out and away by reshaping my village and getting back to more positive people and activities. I broke up with that girl and started to train very hard physically because I knew it was a big part of where I drew confidence and positivity. During that, I met some fantastic like-minded people. I poured myself into work and put myself back into an occupation that I was familiar with and people expected great things from me because of a reputation I had previously set. It was the push I needed to start fighting again and pursuing the life I was meant to live.

Most of us can probably identify with a point in life where we weren't living our best life. It’s the time of the year where a lot of people set New Year’s goals and sadly fail on them, usually somewhere between January 20 and let’s say March…Why? Let’s talk about that for a second. Were the goals realistic? How is your village made up? If your goal is a better diet and weight loss and you are surrounded by people who eat junk food and don’t care about being healthy, you have already set yourself up for failure. I’m not saying you have to cut those people out, but maybe less time with people that are not supporting you. If your goals are to be healthy or start a business and your friends just want to party and drink every weekend, how does that help your goals if you are falling to their example? There is nothing wrong with having a good time, a good party, and blowing off some steam, but everything in moderation. That will give you a far better chance at reaching your goals.

I am old enough to remember a film in school about a grasshopper and an ant that both approached life much differently. All summer the grasshopper played and had fun, meanwhile, the ant worked on storing its house with food for the winter. Long story short, winter came and the grasshopper ended up knocking on the ant's door looking for food and shelter. People often state that we should all be looking for balance, but I don’t think that entirely covers the meaning of what the goal should be. True balance in my opinion is impossible to achieve, but we should still be in pursuit of it. I think we should be happy if we have found enough harmony in our lives while in that pursuit. We need something to focus on and the support needed, which comes by choosing the right people and surroundings

along the way.

My family growing up was not supportive and created a very negative environment. I believed that I was meant for something better and worked towards the family and friends I have now. It keeps me feeling young and focused on my goals, dreams, and the challenges I take on to better myself. We all need that to be able to tackle those resolutions we make every year or those big goals like starting your business. We should be looking forward because of support in anything we do, instead of back with regret. It is always fun to get together with that friend who only wants to have a good time and never worry about responsibility, but for me, it’s once in a while. There is a reason most of us set goals and want new adventures…It feels good to have a sense of accomplishment and anybody that puts the effort in, deserves that feeling!

I remember training for a fight and being out at a club with friends and the intent of keeping my diet on track, which included not drinking. I had one friend who consistently tried to get me to do shots by saying that it wasn’t really drinking. I stuck to my plan and still have the memory of training, sacrifice, and working towards something important that has always been a goal of mine. I will always take the time to say hello to that friend if I see him in passing because we always enjoyed each other’s company, but his goals in life were very different from mine.

So that leaves me asking all of you a few questions. Do you think you will achieve your resolutions this year? Who are the five people you spend most of your time with? Who is in your village and do you feel supported? I hope that those questions all brought very positive answers because if you are willing to put the effort in, you deserve results and support.

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