Pursue the Passionate; Avoid the Zombies

Photograph by Glen Wilson/Columbia/Everett Collection

Whether we like it or not, we become more like the people we spend the most time with—and most of our time is spent at work. It’s our human nature, helping us adapt to fit in with the social environment.

The people you choose to spend time with in the office can affect your learning curve and, consequently, how prosperous you become. To learn everything you can to achieve your vision, you need to surround yourself with colleagues, employers, and clients who are on fire—people who have a clear vision. This is true of friends and even romantic relationships, but it’s especially true of the people you work with.

The goal is to accelerate learning while making it fun. Being with people you like who are also skilled and prosperous allows you almost effortlessly to develop the same skills that make them successful. The transformation happens through osmosis.

You should admire the people for their determination, for the knowledge they’ve acquired, for the values they live by, and for their efforts to achieve success not only in their job, but also in their life. To help you spot those people, look for these six attributes:

The proactive: those who are designing their life with a plan in mind.

The goal-oriented: people who constantly give themselves something to work toward and a way to build a sense of accomplishment.

The passionate: people who exude energy and ideas and who follow them through to achieve great things.

The curious: those who are constantly exploring and learning, who are multifaceted in their interests, and who enjoy sharing what they’ve learned with others.

The unconventional: Those who are innovators, who ignore the naysayers, who make their own paths.

The connected: people who may know other people whom you could turn to for career advice or help.

Spending more time with these kinds of people will not only provide you with a shorter path to prosperity; it will also be a lot of fun. So remember, pursue the passionate; avoid the zombies.

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