Success means many wonderful, positive things. Success means personal prosperity: a fine home, vacations, travel, new things, financial security, giving your children maximum advantages. Success means winning admiration, leadership, being looked up to by people in your business and social life. Success means freedom: freedom from worries, fears, frustration, and failure. Success means self-respect, continually finding more real happiness and satisfaction from life, being able to do more for those that dependon you.

Believe you can succeed and you will.

The secret to success is surrounding yourself with other successful, positive people.  We become part of what we are around.

The world is filled with Negative Nancys. Avoid them like the black plague. They exist in all of our families, social networks, and professional lives. Weed them out.  As you might expect, toxic people are the ones who always dwell on the negative.

Negative people will always drag you down to their level. They hammer away at you with all of the things you can’t do and all of the things that are impossible. They barrage you with gloomy statements about the lousy economy, the problems in their lives, the problems soon to be in your life, and the terrible prospects for the future. If you’re lucky, they might even throw in a few words about their aches and pains and recent illnesses.

After listening to toxic people, you feel listless, depressed and drained. Psychologist Jack Canfield describes them as “energy vampires” — they suck all the positive energy out of you. One thing is certain: these “vampires” will wear you down and kill your dreams.

On the other hand, how do you feel when you are around people who are positive, enthusiastic and supportive? I’ll bet that you are encouraged and inspired. You start to pick up their attitude, and you feel as if you have added strength to vigorously pursue your own goals.

If you had a choice, wouldn’t you rather hang out with nourishing people? Well, in fact, you DO have a choice. It’s up to you to determine who you spend your time with. If toxic people surround you in your daily life, you can do something about it.

To begin with, develop friendships and associations with people who are positive and supportive. In addition, seek out people who are action-oriented and service-oriented. As you spend more and more time in the company of people who have these traits, you, too, will develop the same successful characteristics and put them to use in your life.

Consider who you have been spending your time with. Examine your friendships and relationships at work and during your leisure hours. Those who occupy your time have a significant impact on your most priceless possession … your mind! It is your responsibility to regulate what you allow into your mind.

Here are some steps you can take to be more responsible in this area:

– If you regularly have lunch with toxic people at work, stop it. You should be able to find a diplomatic way of extricating yourself from this “poisonous” group.

– If you have a toxic relative (which could be your mother, father, or cousin), it is important to put some limits on your involvement with them. This does not mean that you abandon this relative and never speak to him or her. However, you should not go out of your way to call that person several times each day if he or she is going to put you down or fill the conversation with negative remarks.

* Form your own positive group with friends or colleagues. Make a commitment to meet with these people on a regular basis (e.g., once a week or once a month) to discuss goals, exchange ideas and offer support. These should be people who accept you as you are and yet challenge you to be the best that you can be.

Surround yourself with positive, nourishing people – they will lift you up the ladder of success.