Pigs Don't Know Pigs Stink!

A few days ago my wife mentioned this phrase that a wise friend of ours used to say: “Pigs don’t know pigs stink.”  Wow! There is so much truth and learning in this one little statement, I had to write about it!  And just so we’re clear, in the context of my wife’s comment, I’m pretty sure I was not the pig.

Regardless, the fact of the matter is true, and pigs really don’t know it – they stink!  My buddy would say this often when referencing negative people. His point was simple:  If we are negative and hang out with negativity, we don’t know the difference.  This applies across the board.  If I am in sales and in the bottom 20%, but hang out with the bottom 20%, I really don’t know it.  If I am constantly bashing my wife with my friends, and they do the same, none of us knows the difference.  In either case, we are feeding each other by always relating – unfortunately in a negative way!  That is not to say we don’t really know the difference; it’s just that our environment does not support an awareness to positively change.  So we just keep on slopping along in the mud!

One of the most valuable life lessons I learned was nearly 20 years ago – and yes, it was from that same friend.  He taught me the value of positive association, specifically through reading a little every day from something that would inspire positive change in me.  Books about leadership, people skills, communication, marriage, kids and parenting, finances, sales, etc., became a consistent element of daily association.  After about 30 days I began to notice that many people around me were more and more negative.  What was really happening is that I was changing and noticing the difference.  They were not more negative; I was more positive. 

Keeping with the theme, the pig (me) cleaned up and began to notice the mud, dirt, and slime that was around me (not the people, the attitudes and perspective!). 

What about you?  Are your sales where you want them?  If not, check the sty – is it full of sales people at your level and below?  If your marriage is not the way you want it, check the sty – is it full of people who relate and even seem to thrive on similar issues, without ever solving them? If you don’t like your health, check the sty – is it full of others who constantly struggle with weight, exercise, and general fitness?  If we want to change anything, let’s check the sty and find the people who reflect the change we want in ourselves.