Growing up a TK (Teacher’s Kid) was probably just as challenging as growing up a PK (Preacher’s Kid). My mother was the grammar, etiquette and fashion police. And Mrs. Hope never took a day off. As I got older, she relaxed on some things but who I hung around was not one of them. She’d be interviewing my friends without them even knowing it, paying close attention to their words, actions and vibe, which included their body language. She’d always point out the ones she felt were trouble. Of course I’d disagree but in time, her character assessment would always be accurate. In my teens and early 20s I thought she was tripping, however as a grown woman I realize she knew that the people I was spending the most time with, I’d eventually become like them. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Be with wise men and become wise. Be with evil men and become evil.” Whoever you associate yourself with long enough, you will begin to emulate them. And it doesn’t happen abruptly but eventually you’ll start to recognize similar habits. When I was in Mexico a few weeks ago, I was talking to my girls, taking pics and chilling with the water just covering my ankles. Without noticing, I found myself in the ocean with the water covering my knees. I’d drifted out and didn’t even notice because the movements were so subtle. That’s how this process works. You don’t recognize it at first, but slowly and surly, you’re becoming just like those in your inner circle. When I’m around folks that are talking about their ideas, executing them and excited about life, I catch that mood. Conversely when I’m around people who complain more than they change, my spirit starts to move into a dark space and I feel drained. Word to the wise, be around the dreamers, the doers, the lovers of life, the givers, the healers, the uplifters, the motivators, the creative; be around that energy that makes you want to be a better human. Take away…constantly ask yourself the following questions:

1.              Who/what am I becoming?

2.              Who/what am I around?

3.              Who/what am I listening to?

After you answer, assess, assess, assess and take action. Hold on to what serves you well, let go of what doesn’t, but always keep your hope my friends.