Last Sunday I joined a Tweet Chat for authors called #indiewrite. The conversation centered around music and whether it helps or hinders the creative process. In general, most agreed it did, but it widely depended on the type of music, varying from classical to steampunk to indie rock.

As an ex-Music Business Major with a Degree in Entertainment (I just love saying that!) I have some firm perspectives when it comes to music. In fact, as I’m writing this, “Anything Can Happen” by Ellie Goulding is playing in the background. Talk about an empowering song!

Music sets the vibe for anything I’m writing, from a simple blog post to the epic battle scene in my next fantasy novel. Which is why it’s crucial for me to listen to music that encourages vivacity and brilliance. As the strings of music permeate the air, I’m able to get lost in the music of words. But, of course, if I attempt to write while listening to hip-hop or dance music, all is lost.

The music I listen to when writing is a game changer; in life, so are the things we surround ourselves with.

To bring it full circle I like to think of this quote:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

And it’s not just people. Everything we surround ourselves with has an impact on us whether we realize it or not.

Have you ever spent time with a group of people and you felt antsy the entire time because you just want to get away from them? Time dragged, and you kept checking your phone because the night couldn’t end fast enough. Or do you naturally find yourself migrating to certain types of people?

Once I became a full-time entrepreneur, I realized the kind of people I found myself spending more time with were people like me. They were hustling to find work and do more of what they loved, but they weren’t willing to sacrifice their sanity to get it. They believed in paying people what they were worth instead of discounting and dropping rates. Most importantly, they wanted the work they did to fit into their lifestyle, not the other way around.

Once I become one of those people, I found them coming out of the woodwork. Those kinds of people are the ones I surround myself with because I walk away encouraged, empowered, and determined to keep making it happen.

Do you have a community that makes you feel this way? Or maybe you’re still dealing with the people who make you feel bad about yourself, the atmosphere’s that make you wonder what your life has become.

Trust me, I’ve been there, and I’ve thought to myself, if this is it I should have just gone to NeverLand. Never grow up and get slapped in the face with disappointment.

All this to say, you want to be very intentional about who (friend, family, acquaintances, coworkers, business partners) and what (music, televisions, games, food, drink) you are surrounding yourself with.

Believe it or not, it affects every area of your life. When you’re in tune with how you react in different circumstances, you’ll be able to perform to the best.

As of late, my life has taken a turn where I’m able to weed out more of the things that are frustrating and lead to negativity. Now I’m able to spend more time focusing on things that matter, that are important, and that will help me achieve my life goals.

What do you think? Are the things you’re surrounding yourself with toxic and out of your control?

What simple steps are you going to take to regain control and distance yourself from those negative factors?

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