I’ve figured out one of the reasons I feel so lucky. The key is spending time with good people. Watching, listening to and following successful individuals makes a humongous difference in my state of happiness. I’ve picked up a skill of bumping into, tripping over and sneaking up on some passionate and gifted people. And somehow, the good stuff seems to rub off on me. It wasn’t always that way. In my younger days, I was hounded with bad luck on a regular basis: messing up in college, battling recurrent hangovers, taking a company down the tubes…must I go on? I was suffering from hanging out with a select group of individuals who also were going through a similar run of negative consequences. We were great at feeding each other’s egos and making up spectacular excuses for failures. This “relationship concept” may be an oversimplification of how to lead a happy and healthy life. However, when I am with young people I dearly love, I cajole them to find ways of spending time with friends and colleagues who have a joyous time doing constructive things. That way, what may appear in life as good luck will actually be a natural result of positive habits shaped by the influence of others. This idea of chasing down and investing time with good people works in both my personal and professional life. Conversely, over the years, I have become better at avoiding (or not engaging with) individuals who do not present a positive viewpoint or who appear to be subjecting pain to all those around them. Now, my friends and colleagues are of the “lucky,” fun sort. One of the highlights of recent years was an evening in Chicago with Bill Miller (Motivational Interviewing), Jim Prochaska (Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change), David Mee-Lee (The ASAM Criteria) and Scott Miller (FIT). We had gathered together, at my invitation, to talk about ways to help millions of people make little self-changes that add meaning and joy to their lives. For those readers not in the field of psychology or healthcare, each person in the photo above is a rock star of research and application in his field of study. And then there’s me. Just hanging out with these winners. So, how do I plan to continue feeling lucky? I’ll keep chasing after those people who have smiles on their faces and goodness in their hearts.
About the author
Since founding The Change Companies® in 1988, Don has worked with approximately 150 agencies and corporations, tailoring Interactive Journals to serve those working and participating in the caring professions. His collaborative efforts in substance use, justice services, impaired driving, healthcare and education have consistently focused on helping individuals explore the process of positive personal change.
Earlier in his career, Don worked in many industries, including hotel management, publishing, higher education administration and healthcare business development. Along the way, he created numerous companies, experiencing both successes and failures. Many of these life lessons and joyous observations found their way into Don’s recent book, The Adventures of Binder-Man.
Don is most proud and appreciative of the outstanding employees who have shaped The Change Companies® for over two decades.
Word of the Week
In French, this word becomes cajoler. Some believe it is a blend of two Old French roots: cageoler, meaning “to chatter like a jay,” and gaioler, meaning “to entice into a cage.” If you combine the action of these two words, you can see how one might use excessively chattery or flattering language to persuade people into a spot they would otherwise avoid.