Maybe it’s the person who insists on screaming and shouting as a substitute for communicating with reason and respect.
Maybe it’s the person who refuses to use evidence to back up the things they say.
Maybe it’s the person who wants to be heard, but who never wants to listen.
Maybe it’s the person who isn’t a potential customer or client.
Maybe it’s the friends who only want to party all the time.
Maybe it’s the person who demands that you buy things you can’t afford.
Maybe it’s the person whose value system is inconsistent with yours.
If you ever hope to live a life that matters, you’ll need to be very clear with yourself about two things:
- Who are you going to listen to?
- Who are you going to ignore?
The world is filled with tons of people who will challenge you, question you, criticize you, inform you, and inspire you in ways that are essential for your growth.
The world is also filled, however, with people who will waste your time, drain your energy, drag you down, and distract you from focusing on the principles and priorities that matter most to you.
It’s cliché to say things like “you can learn something from everyone.” That’s true in theory, but impossible in fact. The fact of life is that none of us have an infinite amount of time, energy, and ability. Before you die, you’re only going to have a finite number of conversations and interactions. If you want your life to count, you have to make those conversations and interactions count.
Don’t be a snob who arbitrarily dismisses other people as being unworthy of your time, but also don’t be a mindless automaton who remains open to every possible influence. As G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”
If you have something you’re living for, then that means there are some people you simply have to learn to ignore. Think critically about who those people are. Your life-purpose depends on it.