Radiators and Drains
My step-father recently told me that there are two types of people I will come across in business: radiators, and drains. He told me that I should surround myself with radiators, and avoid the drains.
I’ve actually found this to be the case not just in business but in all walks of life. When it comes down to it, most people will fit clearly into one of these two personality types. So what are they?
Radiators are people who radiate energy – positive energy. They are optimistic, enthusiastic, kind, loving, and empathetic. They not only care about themselves, they truly care about you as well. These are the sorts of people who will push you forward.
Drains on the other hand do the opposite. They drain energy. They have a negative outlook on life. They are always glass-half-empty, they take and don’t give back, they see others successes as their failures. They are drawn to gossip and they think everyone is out to get them. Drains will hold you back.
“Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners.”
So now you know what they are, I urge you to take a good look at all the people who play a significant part in your life right now. For each person, ask yourself if they are pushing you forward, and if you are moving forward with them. Do they return the value that you give to them? How do they react when you succeed in something? Do they care about what you have to say? It’s actually quite easy to pick up on whether someone is truly listening to you.
Look, you should ONLY be investing your time in radiators. There’s no excuses. You may have certain people in your life who are holding you back but you feel bad about cutting them off. I’m sorry but if you’re too scared to let the drains go then you’re letting them control you. You MUST be in control of your life to succeed. Besides, drains are not nice people. They have their own issues to work out, and one day they’ll realise where they are going wrong. That’s up to them, but you need to focus on yourself.
There’s a reason I said take a look at the people who play a significant part in your life. Those people have a large influence on the direction your life is heading in. Whether you like it or not, their attitude, their beliefs and their success will impact you, not just consciously but subconsciously.
When I spend time with people who are moving forward, making progress, taking the wheel, I get super motivated to do the same and move forward with them. These people inspire me to take action, we share ideas and motivate each other, we care about each other’s problems and cheer each other on. We’re genuinely happy to see each other succeed. The times when I spend a lot of time with driven people are the times when I make the most progress myself. For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been making huge progress in the gym, in part because of a buddy of mine who is on a similar journey.
I’ve had a few drains come into my life in the past couple of years, but I made sure they didn’t stay for very long. That’s the point I’m making. Be aware of them, because without realising it their toxicity will start to hold you back.
It’s not rocket science, in fact this way of looking at who you spend your time with is a simple as it can get. Obviously, some people may be slightly draining but also slight radiating, or vice versa. But it comes down to one question you should be asking yourself.
Are they pushing me forward or holding me back?
If they’re moving me forward and I’m moving them forward, I invest my time with them. If not, I cut them out. Life’s too precious to spend your time with drains, so don’t be afraid to be fully honest with yourself. You’ll know who’s right and who isn’t.
For more on this, check out my blog post on how to level up your circle of friends.