The quote above by author Jim Rohn take a similar vein to a poem by the 16th century English poet and cleric John Donne “No Man is and Island”. We are nothing more than a summary of influences from the people around us.
We are born into this world as completely helpless beings, dependent on parental nourishment and protection. In essence nobody is self-sufficient. We all rely on each other in one way or another.
So who are you spending most of your time with? Are you surrounding yourself with people with a mainly negative and destructive outlook on life. Are you one of those people who predominantly look on the dark side of life and see the world as a bad place. Do you see only the negative aspects of people around you?
Or are you a shining light of optimism. You have an enormous ability of blocking off any negative energy that might come your way and have found a way of side-stepping people with a “vampire energy”. You find life beautiful, easy and full of joy.
We most likely have phases in life where we find ourselves in either of the two camps, depending on what challenges we face in life at a particular moment in time or whether we have just fallen in love or won in the lottery.
All great teachers of Mysticism will tell you that the art of happiness is the ability and wisdom to accept life’s preciousness in the here and now. Impermanence is one of life’s great lessons. Ask anyone who has suddenly lost a loved one or been confronted with an event that has changed everything that was thought a moment earlier to be true, safe or a permanent-given.
The only truth is that life is a constant flow of yin and yang, birth and death, light and shadow, good and evil, expansion and withdrawal. Sorrow, grief and despair are as much part of life as happiness, joy and exultation or loss and abundance. Discipline of the inner mind and thought process by means of meditation, the body arts or other rituals will help us deal with this ebb and flow.
What we can control is the choice of the people we surround ourselves with and how much time we choose to spend with them. It is an interesting exercise to reflect on those five people in your life who have had the most impact,were or are your most important teachers and made you into that wonderful person who you are today.
No Man is an Island
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions