I found this writing analysis yesterday where you post a segment of your writing and it compares it to classical and modern writers to see whose style you most closely resemble. After I inserted a few blog posts, here was what my badge looked like:
I have to tell you, I wasn’t displeased.
Stephen King just happens to be my favorite fiction author of all time (although Chuck Palahniuk is a close second) and I have read 96% of his writings at least once, most twice. I credit his books The Stand, It, and Salem’s Lot for my love of the horror genre and I truly believe The Dark Tower series is the best series of books written by an American author in history (disagree if you want, I respect your right to be wrong).
The Sincerest Form of Flattery…
The truth is that I never once sat down and said, “Joey, this blog post needs to sound more Stephen King-y”. It just kind of happened because that’s what I surrounded myself with literature-wise for most of my life. Whether you want it to or not, the things you surround yourself do and will rub off on you. Whether it’s your speech patterns (y’all), your musical interests, sports interests, or writing habits, you are made up of thousands of memories that collect into the mosaic that is you, but here’s the kicker: that’s not a bad thing.
Where this can really come into play is with your ideas surrounding success and personal growth. I had this conversation not two days ago with John Morgan (@johnmorgan) or BrandBreakout.com. The people you surround yourself with and the constant intake of information regarding what is “possible” and “acceptable” in business sink in a great deal more than you might want to admit.
Möbius Strip Tease
At this point in the post we could go round and round about communication theories like Social Influence Theory and Cognitive Dissonance, but instead I’d like to keep it simple. Peer pressure is real and you are affected by the people and things around you.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what are you going to do with this new-found knowledge? As I see it, you have two options:
- You can accept the fact the the people you surround yourself with play a factor in how you view the world and go out of your way to surround yourself with quality people. Or…
- You can do nothing. (This is only the wrong choice if you are NOT currently surrounding yourself with quality people.)
Change Your Lenses
Make an effort this week to surround yourself with 10 new people. Make sure they are people who you consider successful and whose opinions could actually improve your life situation. You could do that on Twitter (probably the easiest way with things like #FollowFriday), you cold use Google Blog Search or Digg to find articles from people you respect and start commenting on those blogs (check out my blogroll if you want some good places to start too). This doesn’t have to be a losing battle and you don’t have to get rid of your old friends, just make room in your life to let in some positive reinforcements.
All great strides in life involve sacrifice. Make sure the strides you are making are with people going in the direction you seek.
But hey, you don’t have to listen to me, I’m only the new Stephen King.
What do you think?
P.S. – Stephen, if you happen to read this, thank you and keep up the great work.