“It shows much more courage to remain dry and sober when the mob is drunk and vomiting; but it shows greater self control to refuse to withdraw oneself and to do what the crowd does, but in a different way.” – Seneca
For many of us, perhaps all of us, as we set goals and map our the people we want to become over the next few months or years, we will start likely notice that our goals do not involve things such as drinking more alcohol or staying out late with our friends more frequently.
In fact, many of us might go in the opposite direction and that may cost us some of our relationships in the short term. That is going to be alright so long as we recognize that we have some control over each of our relationships. Specifically, we have control over half of each relationship we are in. The half that involves us.
Some of our relationships involve things we may consider removing from our lives if we are going to become the people we want to be over the next few years. In fact, some of our relationships may be built on these things entirely.
In the beginning of our journey, we might find that it is easier for us to stay on the path if we just don’t associate in these circles anymore. And in the beginning that is fine. But we should also keep in mind that our goal is not ever going to be to stay where the path is easier.
Our goal should be to be able to associate with those people, not indulge in the behavior we no longer want to indulge in, and not make the people we are associating feel any worse for indulging just because we are there not joining in the indulgence. This won’t be easy, for us or them, especially in the beginning but if we discipline ourselves and stay on the path, it will be worth it.
virtus fortis vocat