The long quote of the day:
"Moralizing, I observed, then, that 'all that glitters is not gold.' Mr. Ballou said I could go further than that, and lay it up among my treasures of knowledge, that nothing that glitters is gold. So I learned then, once for all, that gold in its native state is but dull, unornamental stuff, and that only lowborn metals excite the admiration of the ignorant with an ostentatious glitter. However, like the rest of the world, I still go on underrating men of gold and glorifying men of mica. Commonplace human nature cannot rise above that." - Mark Twain, in Roughing It
How often do you underrate men of gold and glorify men of mica?
You know what I'm talking about. Every day, each of us chooses to involve a certain group of people in our lives. Granted, for some the group is big, while for others the group is small. Also granted, we don't always get to choose the group's membership--sometimes our bosses or our business chooses for us. Those "granted"s notwithstanding, each of us has a group of people from whom we obtain our pleasure of socializing, our feedback on all sorts of matters both business and pleasure-related, and, to a lesser or greater extent, part of our sense of self and self-worth.
Are these people, these mirrors through whom we see ourselves, men of gold or men of mica?
As I write this, of course, I'm having a hard time defining what a "man of gold" or a "man of mica" might look like. That's because there are so many different types of acquaintances. If you're in business you have your workers/partners, your advisors, and others. If you're a writer you have your beta readers, your other readers, the writers of the blogs you follow, the guy you've never met who just wrote a review of your book on Amazon, and so on. Each of these people holds a certain place in your world. Each is in a position to influence you, your thoughts, and your actions, if you allow it of them. And you do. We all do. It's human nature that we allow those around us into our heads and, sometimes, our hearts.
Bottom line, then: you're going to take something in, like it or not, from those with whom you surround yourself. Are you selecting your circle so that what you take in will give you an advantage? Or will it take advantage of you?