Keeping your emotional reservoir full…
Many people will tell you that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I absolutely believe that. My own personal experience validates it for me, and I have spoken with many others that have experienced the same thing. These are the people that seem to consistently add to your reservoir. You are more “full” after spending time with them.
If that is the case, then we must be intentional in making certain we find five individuals that are going to inspire us, stretch us, and encourage us. In a world/business/life where we are constantly bombarded with challenges we need to be intentional about keeping our reservoir as full as possible.
For some of us, that presents a bit of a challenge because we have associates that simply pull us down. Whether they be business or personal associates, voluntary associations or involuntary associations, we all have those associates. Most of them you can readily name as you are reading this seem to always be negative, cynical, or angry. They are draining our reservoir.
It’s easy to spot the difference.
Here’s a test: quickly name three people that leave you feeling better after meeting with them. Now, name three people that you know you always feel tired (negative, cynical, or angry) after visiting. How quickly did the names come to mind? Okay, so I picked three instead of five to make it easy. But you get the point.
Some articles I have read recommend that you remove these negative, cynical and angry people from your life. I strongly disagree with that philosophy. Those of us that see the world through a different lens have an obligation, be it developmental or ministry, to work to positively influence those around us. We must have those that we mentor, whether they are aware of it or not, to have a more positive outlook on life. We must work to steer those conversations toward the encouraging, ask encouraging questions, look for opportunities to affirm. We must be intentional (there’s that word again) in not taking part in the cynical, sarcastic, negative and angry dialogue. Be an example! Teach! Lead!
To do this modeling and teaching requires not only a full reservoir, but possibly an over-full reservoir. To have the resources to spare you must be intentional in constantly filling your reservoir with time with those “chosen five.” Attend conferences or “get-togethers” that are positive and that will pour into you. Read books and articles that lift you up and encourage (and avoid those that merely spew discontent and division). Attend a church that is encouraging and uplifting. Make sure that you get adequate rest and exercise. These are vital to a full reservoir.
Be wise! At some point you may find it necessary to “shake the dust off your feet” and quit investing time and resources into a bottomless well. I say this cautiously, in that I don’t want to seem cynical myself. But the fact is, there are some that you ultimately realize are not a good investment of your precious resources.