Positive Peer Pressure

Monday, September 19, 2016
Last week while hanging out with some of my most favorite high school pals, I had the opportunity to spend time with my very good friend, Erik… he’s come a long way from our high school graduation and I am so proud of the man he’s become. From sneaking out and “borrowing” the car in the middle of the night as an unruly teen to now being part of an international Rugby team, we can all learn about the effects of peer pressure from Erik’s story. 
As I am reminded by Jim Rohn, we are a product of our surroundings. Jim suggests you are a sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Take some time this week to reflect on your peer-choices and decide if those folks are lifting you up to your higher potential. 
Erik grew up in a different kind of household than most of us at our private Catholic school. He did not have a college  savings fund and decided to join the Marines after graduation. Needless to say, being in the war had a profound and long-lasting effect on Erik’s mental health. I’m proud of him for overcoming the PTSD that he suffered and for becoming a successful and caring boss, managing a local warehouse in Ohio. 
Erik, like many of us, has been on a journey to find himself in this world.  He is fun-loving and social – always making time to hang out with friends and play sports such as baseball and rugby. 
It’s been neat to see how positive peer pressure has worked in his life… Erik continues to hang out with friends from our high school days who are also young professionals, many of whom are now married and starting their own families. After the first 6 months working in his big boy manager job, Erik found himself with a surplus of cash on hand. His first thought was to use that money and buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle, but after thinking about it, he decided to invest his money in mutual funds to save for more financial freedom in the future. 
This is a big deal! Just 2-3 years ago this would not have been the same outcome. Between growing up, turning 30, and choosing to surround himself with positive peer pressure, Erik has shown tremendous growth and maturity. 
 This is a great example of how the relationships and people in our life can impact our choices. That is why I encourage you to reflect on your relationships and decide how they are affecting your day-to-day choices such as what you’re eating and drinking. Or maybe bigger life choices, such as financial investments or what career path to follow. 
Food for thought:
Who are you hanging out with? Do you support the lifestyle of your closest friends and acquaintances? 
Are they eating well-balanced or usually going out for energy-dense/nutrient-poor fast food? Do your friends or peers exercise or engage in regular physical activity? 

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