Choose Associations Wisely: Bad Company Will Hinder You From Making A Mark

Two days ago I posted some insights on what my mom taught me regarding sustaining and increasing a good reputation with the people around you. Early this morning she called me to chat and I informed her that I had put together that article. She was excited to hear about it and challenged me to put together a post on something that my dad had taught me. So, here it is:

When I was a kid my dad taught me that one of the most important things in life was to choose one’s associations wisely. Dad repeatedly said that bad company corrupts good character. He invested a lot of time in teaching me how to choose my associations wisely. I have endeavored to apply many of the lessons dad taught me regarding associations and have also picked up many good ideas from study and from mentors. Today I’d like to look at fourteen unique associations we can have in life. The first seven fall into the category of ‘bad company’ while the bottom seven are excellent associations which will help you make a solid mark.


1. Miserable Associates – These are people who rob you of hope. They pollute the environment around you by covering it with misery. They thrive on the idea that misery loves company. If you are going to make a mark you must not give them the pleasure of your company.

2. Bitter Associates – These are drainers of motivation. They are always complaining and bitter about everything. They have a tendency to play victim when they run into difficult situations. They are negative about almost anything and will derail you by their negative attitude. 

3. Lazy Associates- These are enemies of the work ethic. They interfere with you every now and then and hinder you from focusing with what’s essential. Apathy is their motto and their number one craving is ‘taking things easy’. They dislike work and will beg you to be one of them.

4. Clinging Associates – These are zappers of energy. They sap vitality out of your life and practically stifle your passion. They are like pests draining you of the very essence of what makes you tick. They tick you off by denying you the pleasure of pursuing that which makes you come alive. 

5. Small-Minded Associates – These are destroyers of vision. They think small and have no goals beyond thinking small. Their low quality of thinking doesn’t enable them to produce anything that would be of significant value to you. They enjoy hanging around you but do not bring anything to the table. 

6. Discouraging Associates – These are raiders of the dream. They will always tell you that you can’t make it, urging you to give up and throw in the towel. They will drag you down by pouring water on your ideas and planting fear in your mind. They are pessimists who discourage all your initiatives.

7. Camouflaged Associates – These are the most sly of all. Problem is unless you are very sensitive you can’t identify them. Camouflaged associates are all those people who will seem to be supportive but in the long-run are not really adding value to you. You have to master the art of uncovering their concealed intentions.


1. Encouraging Associates – These are superb individuals, having the golden word that you need at the right moment. They have a sincere desire to see you succeed and will do anything they can to encourage you along the way. They are very optimistic and delight in being encouragers.

2. Resourceful Associates – These are people who will share with you ideas, tools and strategies that will enable you become more effective at what you are doing. Resourceful associates can be counted on to help you grow. They build your potential by equipping you with what you need.

3. Mentoring Associates – These are people who will help you to grow and develop into all you can be. They will share with you constructive feedback that will enable you to sharpen your skills and talents. They are like guides who will walk with you step-by-step all the way to your destiny.

4. Trustworthy Associates – These are people whom you can trust with the details of your life. Most often these are usually very close friends and relatives. They will stand with you as you pursue your plans and will help you face the challenges of life. They are usually very credible and honest individuals.

5. Trailblazing Associates – These are people who are leading in areas in which you are interested in developing yourself. Connect with them and learn from them. They will help you learn from their mistakes. Their example alone is usually enough to inspire you to stay focused.

6. Visionary Associates – These are dream-builders. They cause the vision within you to come alive. They usually bring lots of ideas to the table and will put in a lot of effort in making those ideas work. They are goal-oriented and driven. They bring a lot of life to challenging situations. 

7. Empowering Associates – These are the ultimate type. They equip you with what you need in order to do what you need to. They will do everything to ensure that you have all you need as you work towards your goals. They will share knowledge, ideas, resources, tools and anything else that will keep you focused.

Bad corrupts good character. Choose your associates wisely because they can determine what kind of mark you make.

One Response to “Choose Associations Wisely: Bad Company Will Hinder You From Making A Mark”

  1. Jon Arulthas says:

    This is a powerful & well written article about one of the most important factors that
    determine whether you live a life of success or plummet into mediocrity. I don’t usually
    leave comments on websites but after reading both this and the one explaining the acronym
    D.E.S.T.I.N.Y, I felt compelled to leave a message. Keep up the outstanding work Herman.

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