Humans lean toward complacency and comfort, so the answer is likely no. If that’s the case, you need to make some adjustments to that circle for a kick start to personal and professional growth. Again, it doesn’t mean you have to be a dick about it and completely forget your oldest and dearest friends.

If this exercise causes you to discover that certain people in your life are predominantly negative influences, you’ll need to remove that sort of toxicity somehow. That could be really fucking hard, but necessary, because toxic relationships can make it nearly impossible to achieve everything you want in life. You may not need to disassociate yourself entirely, but you’ll need to minimize your exposure to them, at the very least.

There may be other relationships that aren’t necessarily toxic but aren’t as beneficial as those in your conscious circle. You may be forced to spend less time with those people as well, because it may be the only way to free up enough of your schedule to spend the appropriate amount of time with your most positive influencers. Switch up your casement windows for brand new sash windows!

There’s a popular expression that describes the native citizens of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It’s called Minnesota Nice. For the most part, it does a good job of describing us. We are pretty nice people in general. Unless, of course, you include the globally unprecedented amount of passive aggressiveness that exists in the region, which can definitely make things not so nice. Another expression I’ve often heard is nice guys finish last. I don’t buy into that one completely. You can be a nice guy and accomplish plenty of personal goals and objectives. In a lot of ways, being nice can be a valuable personal attribute. Aliminuim windows are so modern yet classic!

Minnesota Nice means that, regardless of your innermost feelings toward someone, you should always be kind, help others, and do the right thing. Growing up, I was taught that even if I intensely disliked someone, disagreed with their morals, or just straight-up thought they were a bad person, I should never show it in public.

To become an entrepreneur, I learned that I had to transition from Minnesota Nice to being an asshole when necessary. To do this effectively, I wrestled mightily with the differences between being selfish and being selfless.

Shortly after my girlfriend and I had arrived home from a trip to Italy, I had another travel destination already in the works. The opportunity had arisen for me to go to Europe to work on some tree-planting partnerships with various socially responsible and globally respected businesses. I viewed it as a path for me to execute at a high level on something I was passionate about. By going there, I would be a big part of a key initiative to fund and plant hundreds of thousands of trees all over the world. That was my big-picture focus, and it seemed to me like a pretty selfless endeavor. However, that’s not how she saw it.