Surround Yourself with Good People

By | April 23, 2022

[April 23, 2022]  Surround yourself with good people who want the best for you; learn from those who are better, faster, and wiser than you are; avoid ‘negative nellies.’

In the study of history, we learn that some of the greatest leaders all had something in common.  They surrounded themselves with good people.  Alexander the Great, King of Macedon from 336-323 B.C., discovered this as a child.  Alexander would improve his combat skills by fighting only those young men who were significantly stronger and faster than he.

It is widely known that the best way to improve on a set of skills is to practice with someone better than you.  You have to work harder, think faster, and quickly learn the fundamentals.  You will sweat more, have sore muscles, and experience frustration and disappointment, but after gaining a better know-how, your skills will improve.  They will push you to your limit and beyond.

The idea of practicing (or playing) with someone better than you translates nicely to your education and career success and why it is so important to surround yourself with people who are winners.  U.S. combat leaders today use this idea to improve the proficiency of their fighting forces.  Beginning in the early part of World War II, the U.S. Army and Marines brought in civilian experts in the martial arts to teach their men how to fight hand-to-hand properly.  This program was so successful, it continued after the war and is used today.  Combat leaders understood that you had to be determined, disciplined, and dogged in the fight to beat an enemy.

There is no substitute for hard work and the right attitude – the firm willingness – to learn from those who are better than you.  This is why it is critical to surround yourself with good people, the right people who will make you better, better than you believe you could ever be.

There will always be obstacles and naysayers on our road to success.  These can be family, friends, schoolmates, colleagues, teachers, coaches, or anyone from any walk of life.  It is rarely a stranger.

These ‘nervous nellies’ are the people who live a life of disappointment and turmoil, usually of their choosing.  Unfortunately, they seem never to manage to elevate themselves and never accept their place in life without blaming others.  Worse, they will try to bring you down right along with them.  Avoid these people if at all possible.

You may feel good trying to save this person; your intent is moral, but your effort will be wasted, and you may destroy yourself.  You are not obligated to associate with those making your life worse.  Move away from people like that.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

20 thoughts on “Surround Yourself with Good People

  1. Armywife

    It’s also real easy to surround oneself with people who think exactly like we do. The world is full of opposing positions. It shows character when you can deal with someone who thinks differently than you. But by no means, if there is a choice, make these people part of your inner circle. I couldn’t agree more with the General we must surround ourselves with good people who want the best for us.

  2. JT Patterson

    “If we surround ourselves with people who are successful, who are forward-moving, who are positive, who are focused on producing results, who support us, it will challenge us to be more and do more and share more. If you can surround yourself with people who will never let you settle for less than you can be, you have the greatest gift that anyone can hope for.” – Tony Robbins

    1. Colleen Ramirez

      Anthony Jay Robbins is an American author, coach, speaker, and philanthropist. Great guy! Pay attention folks.

  3. Max Foster

    Have you ever heard someone say, “You are who you hang out with?” If you have kids, you likely worry about them falling in with the wrong crowd – and your parents worried the same for you. That’s because those you spend the most time with have a huge influence on your moods, how you view the world and the expectations you have of yourself. As parents, we instinctively know this, and we want to use this power of proximity to have a positive effect on our children.

      1. MrJohn22

        Because we don’t apply our own logic to ourselves. We would rather be gracious and not expel the dumbasses from our friendship circle. Don’t have nutjobs in your vicinity or you will wind up just like them…. an abysmal failure.

      2. Valkerie

        Now that would make us more human, now wouldn’t it? Let’s use logic, not emotion to make most important decisions. How would that work out? Thank you General Satterfield for another great article. Oh, buy his book, folks, you won’t be disappointed.

    1. KenFBrown

      Another free lesson today from Gen. Satterfield on how to be a better person and more satisfied with your life.

  4. Audrey

    “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” — Confusius

    1. Harry Man

      The idea that you are who you surround yourself with has lasted this long because it’s true – and you can use it to achieve your dreams in business and in life.

  5. Tom Bushmaster

    The only thing that will change your life, change your business, change your relationship, is that you must raise your standards. Get rid of negative people who bring you down. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, lend you knowledge and help you learn from your mistakes. Raise your standards for your inner circle.

  6. old warrior

    Always have the best people around you that are looking out for your best interests and not necessarily what you want. Why? Because you are stupid. Well, you are stupid a lot and we need others to catch those stupid moments by telling us, stop. Pause and think, you moron. Keeps you from having your butt kicked by some nut.

    1. Bryan Z. Lee

      old warrior, I nearly spit my coffee out my nose when I read your comment. Reader alert. Put down the coffee before reading old warrior’s comments.

      1. Dennis Mathes

        He he he he….. yeah, got it. old warrior is the best.

    1. Eric Coda

      …… stupid is as stupid does! Just had to finish the sentence.

      1. Anya B.

        Here is a good way to surround yourself with good poeple:

        1. Laughing Monkey

          Good one Anya. Thanks. This is why I keep coming back to this leadership website by Gen. Satterfield. Even those who comment give me more great info.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.