I once heard Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad) say that if you are going to have a voice and make a difference in the world you should expect to have 1/3 of the people love you, 1/3 hate you and 1/3 that just don’t care. What if you’re getting criticism from a coworker, or a bad book review, or you have a relative who you just can’t please? Are you going to allow them to keep you discouraged or can you just put up your velvet rope so you can continue to focus on being your very best?
Have you ever been at one of those big opening night events – where all the important people walk the red carpet on the other side of that red velvet rope? Well let’s imagine that you have a red velvet rope for your life? Who are you going to let inside? What “friends” do you really want to spend your time with? What relatives do you want to allow inside your red velvet rope? If you have a business, what customers will you select?
Don’t just think this is being self-centered or egotistical. If you have no red velvet rope you’ll find that your life will be taken over by people and activities that may not be in your best interests. In working with a young lady just recently released from prison, she is seeing that her old friends and hang-outs set her up for the same self-defeating behaviors that led her to prison. She needs to break those connections, hold her red velvet rope up high and decide who gets in.
This is just like setting and living by your own goals – if you haven’t identified your goals, I can assure you you’re living out someone else’s goals for your life. If you don’t have a red velvet rope, you’ll have customers stealing your valuable time, family members who just want to pull you down to their level, friends who don’t embrace your desires for a higher level of success, and activities that waste your highest areas of contribution.
So define who and what you will allow inside your red velvet rope:
- What kind of people do you enjoy being around?
- What goals do they have for their own lives?
- How are they enriching the lives of other people or making the world a better place?
- Are they happy, creative and optimistic?
- What activities do you find energizing and invigorating?
- What kind of environment brings out your best talents and makes you feel purposeful and fulfilled?
- Now what people and activities will get past the red velvet rope that protects you?
Don’t expect to be your best if you allow more than 1/3 of the people you meet inside your velvet rope. You might just be amazed at the increase you will see in peace, productivity and profits.
Remember the Aesop fable about The Man, The Boy and The Donkey? Trying to please everyone is futile. Even Jesus said “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!”(Luke 6:26) Use your red velvet rope to weed out the undesirable parts of your life – then walk with excellence in those things that are most important.
Are you comfortable keeping some people out of your life?