Author Thomas C Corley spent five years researching the daily habits of wealthy people, and he found that they they avoid one type of person at all costs:
"Self-made millionaires are very particular about who they associate with," Corley writes in his book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. "You are only as successful as those you frequently associate with. The rich are always on the lookout for individuals who are goal-oriented, optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook."
Eighty-six percent of the rich people in his study made a specific habit of associating with other success-minded individuals. More importantly, "they also make a point to limit their exposure to toxic, negative people," Corley explains.
"Long-term success is only possible when you have a positive mental outlook."
This was not the first time this trend had been noted. In 1937 journalist Napoleon Hill studied over 500 self-made millionaires.
He wrote: "Men take on the nature and the habits and the power of thought of those with who they associate, and there is no hope of success for the person who repels people through a negative personality."
This probably doesn't surprise anyone, and yet negative people abound. I see them everyday. These are the people who assume the worst. Surrender before the battle has even begun. Decide that this year will be like all the rest.
They are people who are incapable of pursuing meaningful change. Unwilling to look past another person's flaws to find potential strengths. Resistant to challenge. Inflexible. Unable to improve their lives for the better.
These are the "Yeah, but..." people. The doomsayers. The gossip mongers.
For the record, I can't stand the "Yeah, but..." It clangs in my head like a broken bell of stupidity and uselessness.
I'm not wealthy (yet), but I agree with Corley and Hill's findings. In my experience, pessimists tend to be middling, uninspiring, unwilling individuals who rarely achieve greatness.
In fact, I have come to believe that there are two kinds of people in life:
- People who want to mitigate, minimize, and eliminate problems whenever possible.
- People who feed off the drama and associated conversation related to problems and willingly assume them to be larger and more overwhelming than they really are.
I avoid that second group of people like the plague.