Fortune Friday: “Listen these next few days to your friends to get answers you seek.”

Western society—particularly the United States—has long elevated the status of the so-called self-made man. The idea of the lone ranger combing the fertile plains of opportunity, is a long-held and highly-valued myth; as if to say a person is somehow better for having succeeded without help from anyone.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if you really dig deep you will find that nothing of consequence in the history of mankind was created alone.

Sure, the idea of the maverick sounds appealing, but logistically it isn’t feasible. Our world is too full of interconnecting parts to make a solely solitary endeavor possible.

Everyone depends on everyone. It takes a village, literally.

One of our most valuable sources of assistance is our circle of friends. But friends can be a blessing or a curse.

Good and true friends will encourage you to greatness. They will lift you and hold you to a higher standard. They will often draw out of you what you yourself cannot see. These types of friends can help make all the difference in whether you succeed or fail.

However, bad and weak-minded friends can spell your doom. They will tear you down and mire you in mediocrity. They will seek to ease their guilt or lack of ambition by discouraging you. After all, misery loves company.

Your friends can be a priceless source of inspiration, input, suggestions, or answers to difficult questions. So choose the best friends you can. And if your current friends drain your energy with their constant pessimism or apathy, consider finding new friends.

As Joshua Fields Millburn says, “You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.”

To your good fortune!

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