Belly Up

Michael Riggs, M.Ed.

Try this…

more moneyStop at the local bar for five consecutive weekdays at 5:45 pm, belly up to the bar, order a soda, and look and listen. Is it a coincidence that you find the “regulars” sitting on the same stools talking about the same ol’ thing each day? Is their talk of triviality and does it have a general grumbling nature to it? Are the discussions, though enjoyable and humorous, of ogre bosses that are out to get them, irritating spouses or partners, or of the “good ‘ol days” when all was better and easier? I am quite confident, if you were to poll the regulars, the vast majority are not extremely successful nor amazingly happy with their life’s condition.

Now, try this…

Go to your Barnes and Noble coffee shop for five consecutive weekdays on your way to work in the morning, order a beverage, open your laptop, handle a few emails, and look and listen. Is it a coincidence that you find “regulars” occupying the same tables excitedly talking about their day’s plans? Are they involved in informal meetings discussing matters of significance? Is there a general sense of purpose about these people as they jumpstart their days and get going with the items on their “To Do” list? I am sufficiently certain, if you were to survey these regulars, their degree of success and satisfaction with their life’s order would surpass the regulars from the local bar.


Simply put, people that are on track to become something of significance and make a difference in the world also make special effort to surround themselves with those of like mind and habits. The attitudes and actions of the people closest to you, and those that you spend the most time, will significantly affect you – and you, them.

Triviality can transform itself into significance by planting itself in significant soil… and vice versa.

Negativity can become positivity through the forces of one’s chosen environment… and vice versa.

Artificiality can morph into authenticity by being around others of like mind and action… and vice versa.

Failure can become success by bellying up next to successful people on a regular basis… and vice versa.

S² Tip

Bring people into your life that are authentically living the life you admire. Conversely, if a person or group of people are not assisting you in your pursuit of a happy and successful life – cut ‘em loose.

In Another’s Words…

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a man is to look at the individuals he has around him.”

– Niccolo Machiavelli, statesman

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