An eagle’s egg was placed with the eggs of a chicken. The egg hatched and the little eagle grew up thinking it was a chicken. The eagle did what the chickens did. It scratched in the dirt for seeds. It clucked and cackled. It never flew more than a few feet because that is what the chickens did. One day he saw an eagle flying gracefully and majestically in the open sky. He asked the chickens: “What is that beautiful bird?” The chickens replied, “That is an eagle. He is an outstanding bird, but you cannot fly like him because you are just a chicken.” So the eagle never gave it a second thought, believing that to be the truth. He lived the life of and died a chicken, depriving himself of his heritage because of his lack of vision. What a waste! He was born to win, but conditioned to lose.
The same thing is true for most people. The unfortunate part of life is “Most people go to their graves, with music still in them.” We don’t achieve excellence because of our own lack of vision. If you associate with achievers, you will become one. If you associate with givers, you will become one. If you associate with givers, you will become one. If you associate with negative people, you will become one.
Whenever people succeed in life, petty people will take cracks at them and try to pull them down. When you refuse to fight petty people, you win. In martial arts, they teach that when someone takes a crack at you, instead of blocking you should step away. Why? Blocking requires energy. Why not use it more productively? Similarly, in order to fight petty people, you have to come down to their level. That is what they want, because now you are one of them.
Don’t let negative people drag you down. Remember that a person’s character is not only judged by the company they keep but also by the company they avoid.