Birds of a Feather

Have you ever met someone or been introduced to someone and you immediately hit it off? So, as an example, let’s say a guy named Harry meets a gal named Sally, and the conversation goes like this:

Harry: Hi! How are you? Do you come to this bookstore a lot? I was just curious because I come here a few times per week and I’ve never seen you here before.

Sally: Oh, hi. Yeah, I just started coming here. I’m new to the area, and just getting settled in.

Harry: Cool. Where are you from?

Sally: Dallas.

Harry: Wow! Awesome! I grew up in Dallas.

Sally: Oh, wow. That’s neat. Are you a cowboys fan?

Harry: Ya kiddin’! I live and breathe the Dallas Cowboys. Ever since my dad bought me the little silver and blue wind breaker jacket when I was in grade school, I’ve been hooked.

Sally: (laughing) That’s funny because my dad was such a Dallas fanatic that he bought me one of those jackets too! So, you said you come here often. Are you a teacher or something?

Harry: No. I just love to read…especially history.

Sally: Get outta here! I love history too!

And so on, and so on. As you can see, Harry and Sally seem to be hitting things off quite nicely. In fact, by the looks of things, Harry just might be able to get a date with Sally. Who knows. Maybe they’ll even be boyfriend and girlfriend. Isn’t that nice…

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Why did they get along so well? Well, they had a lot in common. That probably had a lot to do with it. They were both from Dallas; they both were Cowboys fans; they both liked to read history; and they both got those silver (or was it white) and blue cowboys windbreaker jackets when they were in grade school. You know, this could be the start of something good. I can see Harry chilling out on the sofa with Sally, enjoying watching their Cowboys win a game, or commiserating with each other after Romo botches another attempt to get into the playoffs. Or maybe they might enjoy discussing some arcane US history facts over a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire. Whatever.

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Anyway, the more they have in common, the greater the likelihood that their relationship will have a chance to flourish.

What if they had been opposites? What if Harry was from Philadelphia? Those Philly fans don’t really care too much for the Cowboys. What if Sally had just dropped by the bookstore because she heard they were giving away free chocolate chip cookies, and what’s more, she thought history was a total bore? What if Harry and Sally had nothing in common. Then, unless Harry was obviously rich and/or good looking, and unless Sally was a hottie, they probably wouldn’t find each other interesting at all. Even if they were physically attracted to each other, if they had nothing in common, then their relationship likely wouldn’t last.

Why is this? How could this possibly be? Don’t opposites attract? Put simply, the answer to that question is: only if they are magnets or magnetic poles. The plain fact of the matter is this: we like people that are like us. We like people that believe what we believe. We like people that laugh at our jokes. We like people that do stuff that we like. That’s just the way it is. It is human nature. Birds of a feather really DO flock together!

flock of migrating canada geese birds

What’s more, the birds that we flock with influence us, and we become more like them. If the birds you flock with joke around a lot, guess what, you will probably start to joke around more as you hang with them. If the birds you fly with cuss up a blue streak, as time goes on, you will be much more likely to cuss up a blue streak.

A success dude named “Charlie Tremendous Jones” said this: “You are the same today you’ll be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” Another success guy, Bryan Tracy, said something like this: “You can’t fly with eagles if you insist on scratching around with turkeys”.

The books we read and the people we hang around most of the time put thoughts into our minds. If we do enough hanging out with certain people or reading enough of certain types of books, those thoughts will become ingrained, and our actions will reflect our changed or augmented thinking.

So, who are you hanging out with? When you look at who you’re spending time with, do you see someone you would like to be like in five years? If not, it is time to expand your social circle to include folks you admire, and that you would like to be like in the future. In a worst case scenario, it may be necessary to distance yourself from some current companions. Also, read good books and articles. They can make a huge difference as well. A popular saying goes: “not all readers are leaders, but ALL leaders are readers”.

Where do you want to be in five years?

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