Good people bring out the good in people…

Have you ever thought about the company you are with? In terms of your social circle.

You have, right? We all have at some point.

Have you ever realised how important this actually is?

Well, I only discovered this on a recent trip to France this summer. A week away in France on a meditation trip, living in a forest and not knowing what the people were going to be like naturally did seem ominous.

On arrival I realised the scale of this retreat. Approximately 3,000 people in the middle of nowhere from all different nationalities around the world and all age groups. Literally toddlers to 70 year plus people. I was somewhat overwhelmed.

As I was setting up my tent in a pitch black forest I heard a voice behind me say “Satnam”. This means ‘truth’ and is a way people in kundalini yoga greet and close meetings with others. It was a girl from Russia, also on her first retreat. She asked if I needed a torch she was holding. I was thinking I don’t know you, your battery is probably draining on the torch that you will need for the next seven nights, why would you offer your torch to me? I was on guard!

The next day as I walked aimlessly not knowing where I was meant to be I tried the “Satnam” approach. I made new friends who not only directed and walked with me but they also offered me extra padding for support as they were worried my mat was perhaps too thin for the ground.

Where was I? Do these people think I’m some type of deity or Hollywood star to offer such hospitality?

At meal times, complete strangers would offer food to each other if anyone were short. If you have a question about something, people will greet you with a warm smile before answering.

One evening, I returned to my tent to find a note attached. I had completely forgot but I’d left my shirt on top of my tent to dry that morning. It rained in the afternoon and there was a note saying, “It started to rain. Hope you don’t mind but I put your shirt under a cover next to the tree”. No name was mentioned. It was only two days later that a complete stranger said, “I hope you found your shirt”.

Maybe this is what heaven feels like.

There are many stories and towards the end of that week I made some very good friends.

But I noticed something about my behaviour when I was there. I was obviously happy, but I felt more confident. I felt at peace. I could ask any question and no one would judge me.

People randomly told me my good qualities. Qualities I didn’t even know I had. They did this with others. I was doing it too. It was contagious to be nice to people.

“When you appreciate the good. The good appreciates”.

The word appreciate means two things 1. to value something 2. to increase in worth.

I realised as more people were being authentic and helpful it made me even more authentic and helpful. We were in a circle that I always wanted to be in..

It hit me when I was there just how important it is to be around good people. How it made me feel. The strongest memories are made of feelings.

It doesn’t mean you never disagree or get angry or disappointed. That happened too. What is important is how those emotions are channeled being around good company.

I came back thinking about the company I am with. Why do I have to leave that feeling in France? What if it could exist in my personal life at home and in my work life? Where we can make choices about the people we are with, that’s what I chose to do. I still have all my same friends but I am more careful when I spend my time. I am amazed at how different I feel. I knew it was important but never this much.

If you truly want to excel in your life, whether in work in your society or spirituality, stay in the company of good people.

Take time this week to reflect on the company you are with. Then make proactive choices to spend time in the company of the good.

“Company of good people is like walking in to a shop of perfumes. Whether you buy the perfumes or not, you are bound to receive the fragrance”.

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6 thoughts on “Good people bring out the good in people…”

  1. Interesting stuff but although I want to be like that it’s not easy when you step back into the rat race where the competition starts before you even get to work in the hunt for a seat on the train this competitive behaviour doesn’t allow the positive interaction to develop as its literally dog eat dog out there but I can imagine if taken away from these situations it would be much nicer if we could all just get away from it all and focus on bettering ourselves but how can we apply the essence of your post with all the other competitive pressure of life in the 21st century …it’s a tough task.

  2. Great post again!

    As soon as you become part of the competition, you have lost at life.

    You are taught your whole life to compete. What if you just decide to surrender one day? So, if there are two of you and only one tube seat, you give it up kindly. You receive a warm thank you from that person. You then go to work uplifted and more productive as a result.

    Is this kind of behaviour reducing your ability to succeed in life? Or is it enhancing your positive experiences and your chances of real success?

    Positive interaction does nothing but improve your life experiences. Practised on a daily basis, it can make you feel more fulfilled that the glory from winning in the rat race.

    It is entirely a personal choice. You can choose to compete let your circumstances dictate your behaviour, or you can remove yourself from the competition, stand in solitude and let your behaviour dictate your circumstances.

    It is up to you..

  3. Precisely. I always say the best way to step out of the crowd is to lead. To lead, your words and thoughts alone are not enough. You need to act like a leader. It’s very easy to think if I don’t do this first, someone else will get there before me. Or worse still, I should retaliate and not be nice if someone else has not been nice to me. Sure, you can live that way. But what if we change our thinking? What if we realise standing on the train for 45 minutes to see someone else more comfortable is not that bad. After all, it may be possible that we will be sitting in an office chair for the next eight hours. What if our thinking said we don’t have to be the CEO of our company because our friends are becoming CEO’s. What if instead we enjoyed other things outside of work – family, music, hobbies etc and balanced our time. There is an excellent example of this in a film I watched recently called ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’. There are only 21 days left to live on Earth and everyone is going to die. 99% of people have not shown up for work and the minority 1% are having a meeting, “Due to the recent departure of senior employees we currently have some posts available. Who would like to be CFO?”, says one employee. To which someone responds “Is life really this meaningless”. Not that being a CFO isn’t a worthy post, but if it doesn’t interest you and you have 21 days to live, would you still be thriving for that promotion that today feels like it’s everything?

    It’s far less complex to break out of the circle than we imagine. To start acting differently, we need to start thinking differently. Have faith the multiplier effect will then do the rest…

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