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Pursue The Passionate & Avoid The Zombies

By Mark Hopkins

Whether we like it or not, we become more like the people we spend the most time with � and most people�s time is spent at work. Who you choose to spend time with in the office can affect your learning curve and, consequently, how prosperous you become. In order to learn everything you can to achieve your vision, you need to surround yourself with colleagues, employers and clients who are on fire, people who have a clear vision.

This is true of friends and even romantic relationships, but it�s especially true of the people you work with. The goal is to accelerate learning while making it fun. Being with people you like who are also skilled and prosperous allows you to almost effortlessly develop the same skills that make them successful. The transformation happens through osmosis.

The people you choose should admired for their determination, for the knowledge they�ve acquired, for the values they live by, and for their efforts to achieve success � not only in their job, but in their life. To help you spot those people, look for the following six attributes.

  • The proactive: Those who are designing their life with a plan in mind.

  • The goal-oriented: People who constantly give themselves something to work toward, and a way to build a sense of accomplishment.

  • The passionate: People who exude energy and ideas, and follow them through to achieve great things.

  • The curious: Those who are constantly exploring and learning, are multifaceted in their interests, and enjoy sharing what they�ve learned with others.

  • The unconventional: Those who are innovators, who ignore the nay-sayers and make their own paths.

  • The connected: People who may know other people whom you could turn to for career advice or help.

Spending more time with these kinds of people will not only provide you with a shorter path to prosperity, but will also be a lot of fun. So remember: pursue the passionate, avoid the zombies. Try it! 

(Mark Hopkins is the author of Shortcut to Prosperity: 10 Entrepreneurial Habits and a Roadmap For An Exceptional Career. After building a leadership career with companies like Hewlett Packard and Emerson Electric, Hopkins founded Peak Industries, a medical device contract manufacturer, which he grew to $75 million and later sold to Delphi. He then founded Crescendo Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and Catalyst, a private foundation supporting both Colorado-based nonprofits and micro-lending in the developing world.)

For more information, visit and follow Mark on twitter@10shortcuts.

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