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Please Note: This is a repeat of one of Eric's most popular Sunday Coffees.
Reflecting Those Around You
By Eric Rhoads
Have you ever thought about what color a shadow is? As we speak, I’m staring out at the twisted oak trees, backlit by the golden morning sun. Soft shadows of blowing leaves are dancing across the tall grass and long shadows of twisty tree trunks are pointing toward me as the sun makes me squint. With the bright orange morning light, the shadows are glowing purple. But shadows change with the influences around them. As it turns out, so do we.

Where and with whom do you spend the majority of your time? How is that influencing your heart, your sense of adventure, your spiritual walk, or your state of mind?

Profound Truth

I don’t recall who said it, but we become like the people we spend most of our time with. And that is why I’m intentionally becoming more selective. It’s also why I’ve chosen to be around artists, who see life through a different lens.

I try to preach to my kids about the influences surrounding them…

If your friends are gossiping and talking smack about other people, they are talking smack about you when you’re not there.

If they are cheating in school or stealing, even though they justify it, you are likely to become like them.

If they are negative, always angry, and they hate the world or hate others, you have to realize that it’s impacting how you behave.

Some Bad Dudes

In the early days of my career in radio, I was around some people I thought were pretty cool. They were a rebellious bunch, and their ethics, morals, and behavior were often questionable. They were always in trouble, making bad decisions, and lying to our boss about why they missed a shift. Soon, I started becoming them — until, thankfully, a girl friend pointed out that I had changed since I started spending time with these people. She got my attention, and I fired them as friends. There was no declaration, I simply faded out of their lives. I was much happier.

Who is in your life that should not be?
Who is bringing you down? Who is negatively influencing your behavior?

Move ’Em Out

Experts have told me that we need to get people like that out of our lives because they affect our own behavior. When you’re around someone a lot, you may not realize just how much they hurt you.

People who bring me down, people who are unpleasant, curt, overly demanding, overly aggressive, are, for the most part, unwelcome to steal my time. There are moments when I deal with them because I need to, but I’m seeking an escape as soon as possible.

What about you?

Here’s a news flash…
You are in almost complete control of your life. You mostly get to choose how and where you spend your time, and with whom.

By being in control, you get to choose what you are willing and not willing to do, who you are willing and not willing to deal with.

Of course there are people we cannot entirely write out of our lives because of our history, our love, or our family. In those cases, you get through it, and try hard not to let them influence you in a negative way.

Time is precious.

What you choose to do with it matters.
Don’t spend your time on things or people that suck the life out of you. Spend your time sucking the most out of your life.

Shed what’s not good for you. Or at least put up guardrails to prevent as much damage as possible.

Eric Rhoads
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Who Is This Guy Eric Rhoads?
Eric is the founder and publisher of PleinAir magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine (both on newsstands nationally), author and host six of Art Marketing instructional videos and has a blog on Art Marketing, and is author of the Amazon best seller Make More Money Selling Your Art. He produces newsletters American Watercolor, Fine Art Today, Plein Air Today and RealismToday, Creator of; The Plein Air Convention, The Plein Air Salon $30,000 Art Competition, The Figurative Art Convention & Expo, Plein Air Live, Realism Live and Watercolor Live Virtual art conferences. Art instruction video with Streamline Art Video, Liliedahl Art Video, Creative Catalyst Art Productions, and Paint Tube.TV (art instruction on Roku, Amazon Fire, and Apple TV) and host of several painting retreats: Fall Color Week, Paint Adirondacks and PaintRussia, plus an annual collector Fine Art Trip, Rhoads hosts a daily art broadcast on Youtube and Facebook (search Streamline Art Video). He is a plein air , landscape and portrait painter with works at Castle Gallery. He is also heavily involved in the radio industry as founder of Radio Ink, as well as Radio and Television Business Report, the Radio Ink Forecast Conference, Podcast Business Journal, and the Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference. He is the author of a best-selling book on the History of radio; Blast From the Past: A Pictorial History of Radio's First 75 Years. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his bride Laurie and they are the parents of triplets. Learn more at or see Everything We Do.
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