Wise words from Mr. Colin Powell

My friend Carla shared the following with me. Mr. Powell’s words resonate with me because they encourage an attitude and a practice I have tried to adopt and inculcate in my own life. 
I share this with you, hoping you will be inspired to live a rich life, free of toxic people and guard your dreams from those who would try to stall or destroy them. 

The Power of Association 

by Colin Powell
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The Power of Association is too real: “The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you. 
Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don’t follow anyone who is not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl, but if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.
“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.” The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends”.  
My favorite: “Not everyone has the right to speak into your life.”



6 thoughts on “Wise words from Mr. Colin Powell

  1. Wow, powerful words here. Every line strikes a chord with me. Sometimes we really have to tread carefully as we make our way, cautious about who we include on our path.

    I like the line you chose, too. In a way, it elevates our choices on how to live our lives.


  2. Dear Joanne,

    I lived through these “associations” so the same you may well imagine the memories and emotions that stirred when I read Mr. Powell's words.

    More than the negativity he encourages us to avoid, I celebrated the day I awakened to realization that my negative associations were ruling and ruining my life.

    The life I live today is my choice life. Sure there are some associations that still rattle me – we can never truly eradicate them all together I suppose. Nevertheless, because I keep a close guard on my choice life, I notice them much sooner than I would have years ago. Now, I try to transform them into positive associations, minimize the time I spend with them or separate myself from them.


  3. Hi Jill,

    I appreciate the visit and you comment.

    Mr. Powell's words are so powerful true and inspiring that they deserve mention and repeating and re-reading.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    stirs many memories for me. Thankfully, they of false self-beliefs, the inability to say no and to identify and disassociate my


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