Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people with whom we spend most of our time.

While I believe this to be true, I don’t like it’s numeric limitation.  With so many great people out there, I want to surround myself with as many as I can, not just five.  That is why I like an analogy of a bus better.

Think of the school bus you may have ridden as a kid. It was full of classmates: some friends and some bad eggs and bullies. Back then, there wasn’t a choice of who rode the bus with us. If they lived along the bus route, we were stuck with them. Sometimes this made for fun rides to school, and other times miserable ones

Sounds similar to our lives now, right?  We aren’t on a school bus, but some days are relationships are great and some not so much. Either way, the outcome is driven by the people in our lives and their effect on us

But what if back in the day you had been given a choice over who rode your school bus? What if you could’ve handpicked your best buddies, and excused the rest?  How would that have changed your bus rides to school?

No doubt it would’ve had a positive impact.

While we can’t go back in time, we can borrow from these prior life experiences to create an analogy we can apply to our daily lives now. So back to our bus today.

Unlike our schoolhouse days, we are no longer passive riders.  We are the drivers of our own bus and we get to decide who gets to ride along with us.

Make sure the people riding on your bus are the ones that make you a better person, champion you, or simply have similar values.  Kick people off your bus who are negative, bring you down, or whose values conflict.

While we can’t go back in time, we can borrow from these prior life experiences to create an analogy we can apply to our daily lives now.

While we can’t go back in time, we can borrow from these prior life experiences to create an analogy we can apply to our daily lives now. So back to our bus today.

Unlike our schoolhouse days, we are no longer passive riders.  We are the drivers of our own bus and we get to decide who gets to ride along with us.

Make sure the people riding on your bus are the ones that make you a better person, champion you, or simply have similar values.  Kick people off your bus who are negative, bring you down, or whose values conflict.

As an added bonus, your bus can also be a great connector for those on it.  Each of your chosen riders can intermingle as they ride the bus with you. This will bring added value to both you and them. But never forget that this is your bus, not theirs.  Others might suggest people to pick up, but ultimately you are in charge of who you let on.

Being a strict gatekeeper isn’t mean-spirited.  Even the most big-hearted and all-inclusive people can’t have everyone on their bus.  From a seating capacity standpoint, it’s just not realistic.

Don’t worry though, your bus has a lifecycle and will have a variety of riders over time. Some people on your bus will have permanent seats, others will only be temporary riders, some will be serial riders getting on and off multiple times, and a few toxic ones will never be allowed back on.

Who are these toxic and negative riders? They are people in your life who not only want to be on your bus, they also want to drive it by driving you. They do this both directly or indirectly through their moods, actions, and choices. Don’t let them. They will poison you and possibly your other riders. Pull over and kick them off as soon as you can. Some you can do so politely. Others you might have to give a strong boot.

Whatever the reason, a vacancy opens up room for some other awesome person to come along and ride your bus. So never fret an open seat on your bus. Who knows, maybe even one of the toxic people you kicked off will come around and change (it can happen) and you will pick them back up later.

Take some time this week to think about who’s on your bus now, who you ideally want to ride with you, and how you are going to keep driving it through life.

Keep being amazing!

Kevin Snyder Signatures

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Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He is all about family and has a passion for educating his community about estate planning and veteran issues. He also enjoys helping people protect what matters most and being the best versions of themselves they can be.

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