Family Magazine

A Great Piece of Advice

By Sara Zwicker @SaraZwicker
Do you ever read something that just resonates with you so deeply and is exactly what you need to hear in that very moment?  I received a great piece of advice earlier this week. I subscribe to email updates from a brilliant guy named Peter Shankman.  If you don’t know who Peter is, I highly recommend you Google him or just click the hyperlink above.  A little back story on him…I “met” Peter back in 2003 when I worked at a company that provided customer service to the American Express Centurion Card (the Black Card).  Peter was one of my clients and he was the nicest person I have EVER spoken to.  That is a pretty large statement, but it’s true and he is someone who with every single interaction I had with him, made me feel important.  He is also incredibly likable and I have followed his insanely successful career and have respected since our first conversation when I was only 22 years old. He made that much of an impression on me. Anyways, I digress.  I subscribe to his email updates and on Monday one passed through my inbox that had me thinking.  Here was the story from the email… “The best piece of advice I ever received in my life was from an older gentleman, sitting by himself at the edge of a skydiving drop zone in upstate New York, back in 2005. I’d just started skydiving, and I was having a hard time with my friends who didn’t jump not understanding why I did. More specifically, I was getting upset that my friends didn’t see the joy I was getting from my new love of this sport.   The old man heard me talking to some friends about how upset I was, and he interjected himself into my conversation with one line, and one line only. He said simply this:   “Son, if you can’t change the people around you, then change the people around you.”   He turned around and went back to watching skydivers land.   Now look, if you’re an older person in the sport of skydiving, that means that you’ve been smart enough not to get yourself killed, so your advice has merit. But for me, it was more than that – His advice was so basic, yet so brilliant.   You see, we spend so much time trying to make the people around us “fit in” with what we consider our normality – and it drives us crazy. Think about how many times we say “She just doesn’t see it my way,” or “Why doesn’t he get my point of view?” The fact is, sometimes, we’re not supposed to perfectly align with someone or something else. And when we don’t, we can spend all our time trying to make it work, driving us crazy in the process, or we can simply change the people around us – and find people, situations, or ideals with which we connect.   The choice is ours, but chances are, only one of those choices will provide us peace.” changeIf you can’t change the people around you, then change the people around you.” So simple, but profound. I typically don’t have a hard time walking away from people who don’t make me want to be the best version of myself and who don’t add something positive to my life.  At times it has been family members as well as friends.  It’s never an EASY decisions but it’s a necessary one. I just cannot let people create negative space in my head and I have been ruminating over a relationship in my life lately (don’t worry, it’s not Robyn :)) and I have realized I need to back away.  After multiple discussions with this person, there is a constant lack of regard for anyone but them self and I have had enough. So, this was that great piece of advice that I needed in that moment to finally make a decision. So that is where I am at right now….I hope you all have an awesome Wednesday! <3


Question of the day

Thoughts on this quote? How do you handle situations like this? Walk away? Stay and hope it gets better?

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