As a kid, I heard for years that you are who you surround yourself with, and up until later in high school, I really didn’t realize how true this statement was. Sometimes, though, I wonder if that is because I chose not to realize it was true, or if I genuinely didn’t realize it. Nevertheless, I think this is something a lot of people fail to realize at some point in their life, and it’s important to understand that no matter what situation you’re in, you need to surround yourself with supportive, motivated, and positive people. Surround yourself with people who have what you want, not who want to hold you back.

A true friend won’t let you slack off and not be the best you can possibly be. A true friend, at certain times, should be a person that is driving you crazy, but just crazy enough to motivate you to accomplish something great. You don’t want a friend who is going to make excuses with you. You need a friend that is going to give you a reason to keep going, when you think you have 1,000 “good” excuses to give up. If you’re surrounded by friends that encourage you to be lazy, when you know that you personally have too many other important things to address, you should probably step away and find a friend that is going to motivate you to get up and accomplish something.

Likewise, for the past few months, I’ve realized that I really don’t want to surround myself with people who don’t have the things I want, which include freedom on time (mainly) and all those material possessions I strive for. There’s not much of a point in mentioning those, as personal freedom means most to me, especially when compared to a material possession. Surrounding yourself with people who have the things you’re striving for, whether they’re materials or mindsets/freedom, is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to strive for those things. Keep in mind that this friend does not have to already have these things. Working towards similar goals is also a very effective way of achieving these goals, and being friends with someone working towards what you have is effective as well. We’re put in this world with over 7,000,000,000 other people. Odds are, you weren’t meant to go through it alone, and you’re also going to come across toxic friends. It’s inevitable.

Surrounding yourself with positive friends, and those who have what you strive for, also applies to college in a way. Be weary of the professors or teachers you choose to confide in. While I was in school, I realized just how ridiculous it was for me to want to learn from people who had less than what I wanted in life. I want freedom from structure, or at least what society considers structure. While this sounds ridiculous and preposterous to doubters, it is very possible. Easy? No. Worth it? Very much so.

I truly began to realize, though, that taking advice from people who didn’t have these things I’ve based my life off of to strive for was a waste of time. They don’t have the materials I aim to own one day. They don’t have the freedom I aim to live more of each day, and they don’t have the attitude that I want to surround myself with. So why would I take what they say to heart? Do they actually know what’s best for me, or do they think they know what’s best for the majority of students simply passing through their doors? See, I don’t want to just pass through. I want to be the beast at what I do. I can’t do that with school. There’s too many people just passing through for schools or teachers to be able to truly care, which is a simple reason I chose to go a different path.

Essentially, to sum this entire article up, surround yourself with like-minded people, and make sure that you’re surrounding yourself with the people that have the thing you strive for and people who strive for what you have. You’re going to meet a lot of toxic friends in your life, as it is inevitable, but use this to your advantage. You’ll be able to see just how unmotivated and lacking that these people are. Additionally, if your teachers, mentors, superiors, etc. do not have the freedom or possessions that you strive for, you might need to reconsider who you’re taking advice from, as it may not exactly be in your best interest to be taking advice from people who don’t understand your goals and passions in life. Each day, strive to be the best person you can be, and if that means cutting some people out, as hard as it may be, do it.

Patrick Fassler is the Chairman and COO of CrysisTV. Patrick and Nic King, CrysisTV Co-Founders, started CrysisTV back in March 2013, and since then Patrick has been working on the site, writing articles, and working on the network. Before starting CrysisTV with Nic, Patrick wrote for a variety of websites, which is where he got the idea to start developing his own news site. Since then, Patrick has helped grow CrysisTV into a recognizable brand in the tech and gaming community. Over the past year, CrysisTV has grown to now be a YouTube Network that partners and monetizes YouTube channels. Patrick and Nic are constantly thinking of new ways to expand CrysisTV as a brand, and are finding new opportunities every day. You can contact Patrick via E-Mail: Patrick@Crysis.tv.