Adequate

At work, I was asked, “How are you feeling?” I responded – “Adequate” He looked at me and said, “That’s an awesome word!” He then proceeded to say, “What made you think to answer that way?”

“Well, I am not overly happy and I definitely am not sad, so I believe the best descriptor word to call myself in this moment in time is; Adequate.”……. He was intrigued. (Needless to say, we are going to be coming out with some merch, soon)

We ask people all the time, how they are feeling, almost as a rhetorical question, because we rarely, if ever, actually want to hear the answer. I like to have a long flow of adequacy. It keeps me in check. I feel like Sweden; Neutral. It takes alot of work to get to get here. It’s not an easy shift either. You really have to work at being adequate. Do not get it mixed up with being complacent or apathetic. Being adequate, is in a whole league of it’s own.

You really have to be mindful of your feelings and protect them. When you are in this realm of adequacy, however, what I have noticed, is that people start dumping. It’s like there is a GPS signal, that when people realize that you are adequate, they feel you are the go-to person to speak with because you live in the world of adequacy. (little do they know the work it takes to get there)

There are many people who want to join the world of adequacy. Of course that sounds crazy, but is it? I mean it is crazy to think you can be happy all of the time with how the world is, and on the flip side, you definately do not want to be sad. Adequate is where it’s at.

It’s like being content, nothing to complain about. Don’t be fooled, it takes alot of work to get here. It is literally protecting your personal space. Deciding what you will allow in. There is truth when they say you are the books you read, the music you listen to, the friends you hang out with, your significant other.

“Show me your company, and I know who you are.”


My mom used to say that all the time, she was referring to my friends. She would tell me it is important to know who your friends are because you are the average of the people that you spend the most time with. She was a true believer of, “Your friends will lead you, but they won’t bring you back.” (I really should have asked what friend betrayed her to the point of her being extremely selective)

I would never listen of course, how can this be true? I fooled myself, I thought It wouldn’t matter, I was strong enough. I could surround myself with people that don’t have great habits, and ignore the qualities that I didn’t want and focus on the good qualities that I liked.

Trust me-It’s too hard, you always end up picking up those bad habits, eventually. And even if you don’t pick them up, you learn to live with them- which is essentially worst.

There are scientific studies that were completed that support this theory. The research suggests that we are mirrors reflecting onto each other.  The people we surround ourselves with shapes us, and we shape those around us too.  This truth has serious consequences.

It demonstrates that you should associate with individuals that you admire and aspire to be like. It’s not to try to acquire their skills as it is the motivation and emotions that lead to skill development. Being aware of how easily emotions can spread allows you to change yourself and consequently change those around you.  If you read a social media post that makes you angry, rather than reacting, you can pause and then respond thoughtfully. If you receive a text that is sad, you can respond with compassion and support (Stulberg, 2019)

A complaining coworker can derail your day, however a study out of Northwestern University found that sitting within 25 feet of a high performer improved an employees performance by 15 percent. Conversely, sitting within 25 feet of a low performer lessened their performance by 30 percent. It’s not just the people we surround ourselves around, it’s the books we read, the podcasts we listen to and even the social media accounts we follow.

I didn’t think this was true, until I started saying the same phrases that a friend that I no longer hang out with was saying. I knew this person was not a person that I should be hanging around.  She did not have her life together and I was trying to help her. But, helping her was hindering me, I couldn’t help her, and it wasn’t motivating me to be better, it was actually draining me.

It’s not about thinking you are better that anyone else. It’s about the reality you want to shape.  I want to be around motivated people that want to do better, that aspire to be better, that motivate me.  I want to be around people that inspire me, that are successful, not just financially, emotionally and mentally.

I read this article that David Cancel wrote:

Here’s some advice I kept in mind during my own audit that I think can be helpful for yours. When you set out to pick your teammates, role models, mentors and even just who you decide to follow on social media, consider the following:

  • Be careful who you take advice from.
  • Just because everyone has an opinion, doesn’t mean you should listen.
  • It takes practice to filter out the wrong people.
  • Choose your role models wisely.
  • Role models are different than mentors.
  • Mentors are the people who are years ahead of you. They have achieved big things.
  • Role models are the people you interact with daily.
  • You can keep mentors for years, but you should change your role models regularly.
  • Changing your role models forces you to learn, grow and evolve.

How do you pick your mentors and role models? What practices do you follow to stay mindful of who you’re surrounding yourself with?

My goal is to come back to these tips every few months to ensure I’m continuing to surround myself with those that inspire me, and I hope you will too.

That is great advice.

My mom was right, and it is true.  Show me your company, know who you are.  You can tell right away, on who you spend your time with.  Look around, do you aspire to be like them?  Do they bring value into your life? Do they have their life together?  Do they have emotional intelligence? 

I have to be very careful of who I allow into my world.  If you are not brining any value to me, if you are not inspiring me or I cannot have an intellectual conversation with you, I cannot be around you.

Too many times, we ignore red-flags with people. Some people like quantity over quality.  The red-flags are those things that are blatant deal breakers, and we think that, they will change, or time will change them. It’s not an easy thing to do at all. To reassess your friends and decide who gets to stay and who must go. However, it is your reality, so you can decide all of that on your own.

As hard as it was, I had to do this.  No matter how hard I tried, my ex-husband did not have the same ambitions as me. We came from two different backgrounds, and different family dynamics. I wanted more.  I wanted to build a business together with a person that had no business background. In retrospect, it was doomed before it started. I was told that it was the business that broke up our marriage, but it wasn’t that.  Our marriage was over before it started.  Those red-flags were there- all of them.  I chose to ignore them, and in true form, the same red flags I chose to ignore, would be the same red-flags that I would end up leaving for.

Having a partner, or significant other – is the biggest role model that you have to choose.  It is the one that you are going to be around most of the time.  If they are not building you up, motivating you, and you aren’t doing the same for them. This will be your reality, it cannot be one-sided.  You can’t be the savior.  It becomes draining, and in the end, they will go back to their regular scheduled program.

Of course, the flip side is true, maybe you are the “good friend” that people want to be around.  I had a meeting a while back, and that same advice was given.  Hang around people who are the same or above you- My dad used to say that. My answer is what if I am that person that people want to hang around? What do you do then? Ditch everyone? 

My friend Peter, would always have to remind me “Caron, you are getting your doctorate.” I am like “yeah, so?” (very articulate) He is always trying to reinforce, how amazing that is, and that it is a huge accomplishment and of course we debate about this topic all the time.

He was right, I found that I would be actually embarrassed to say where I grew up in Trinidad.  I found I would lessen myself, just to fit in. So that I wouldn’t make anyone else feel uncomfortable around me, I would just blend.  Imagine, I was actually embarrassed.  When people would say, where did you live in Trinidad- I would find myself whispering “Westmoorings” because I knew right away – what would normally come after- “oh you were rich”. I would quickly change the subject.

I would actually shrink myself to fit in.  Yes, I had a driver that took me to school in Trinidad.  I remember his name – Harry- of course I was 9, so how was I to know that this was a privilege?  It was me and the Canadian High Commissioner’s two sons- we all went to the same school. Sometimes I would stay at their house until my dad picked me up.  I thought that life was normal, what’s the big deal? I never thought that life was privileged, both my parents worked- always. This was our life.

I am not sure why I felt the need to make myself smaller so that other people would be comfortable. I should be proud that my parents afforded our family a certain lifestyle that they worked HARD for. I am sure my parents didn’t work hard for all of that so that I could shrink myself to fit in. The better question is, fit into what?  What am I trying to fit into? 

Take a look around, see who you are spending time with.  See who you are associating with, see if you are becoming like them.  Are your mannerisms the same, your vocabulary, your motivation or lack thereof?

I feel I have come a long way to being adequate.  It’s not an easy task, but a necessary one. Look around, are you living the life you want to live?  Are you doing the things you want to be doing?  If not, look at the people that you have around you, are they motivating you? Do you aspire to be like them? Do you feel more positive than negative after spending time with them? Do you feel more stressed after spending time with them?  Are they bringing joy to your life or aggravation? 

Of course, this is totally up to you, you get to choose the life you want to live- me personally – I am happy being Adequate.❤

References

Cancel, D, 2019. What the 5 People Closest to You Say About Your Future, Inc.com. https://www.inc.com/david-cancel/what-5-people-closest-to-you-say-about-your-future.html

Stulberg, B, 2019. Good Vibes are Contagious, outsideonline.com. https://www.outsideonline.com/2391572/send-good-vibes

2 comments

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