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Good People

“They’ll never be any shortage of good people in the world. All you got to do is seek them out and get as many of them as possible into your life. Keep the rest the hell out.” — Charlie Munger

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

I’ve tried to live this “no assholes” philosophy in every aspect of my life. We are who we continually surround ourselves with. It’s one reason you’ll never find me on the extreme edges of politics, fighting for every dollar in certain business cultures, or spending any significant amount of time on Facebook. I enjoy living a happy, trusting life surrounded by wonderful people. Call me crazy.

We’ve seen what a toxic culture can do. The world of assholes has an awful stink. Find the good people where the air is clear. Where the building of bridges happens. Where there’s hope for the future and an earnestness to contribute to it.

When you find a company that is filled with good people, trying earnestly to make a positive difference, you want to try a little harder to measure up. When you join a company filled with people trying to step on you to climb a notch ahead, you either kick them back or immediately find another company. Seems an easy choice to me.

Where did all the good people go,
I’ve been changing channels I don’t see them
On the TV shows
Where did all the good people go,
We got heaps and heaps of what we sow
— Jack Johnson, Good People

Sometimes I surprise people when I tell them I don’t watch a lot of television, and definitely don’t watch a lot of news. Talking heads on a program, no matter how earnest they might seem, aren’t there to serve you and me. They’re there to amplify and draw you in. There are surely good people swimming in the red ocean of news programming, but why risk getting eaten alive trying to find them? Swim in the tranquil sea instead. The water’s great, come on in.

If all this seems rather utopian, well, it’s not a determined ignorance of the dark side of humanity. No head in the sand here, thank you. Rather, it’s an informed decision to associate with the best people you can find, people who will lend a hand. People who make you want to be a better person yourself.

That kind of good vibe builds on itself. That’s how communities are formed. It’s how families stay together. How marriages last a lifetime. Find the good people and earn a place at the table. You might even discover happiness was right there, waiting for you to stop paying attention to the not very good people.

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