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Positive Peer Pressure

Have you ever wondered what positive peer pressure might look like? Whenever we hear the phrase "peer pressure" we think of it as a negative thing. Peer pressure is usually considered to be about other people who are relatively the same age as you, or otherwise in your "peer group", who try to persuade you to think a certain way or to do certain things that you might otherwise not, things that would usually get you in trouble.

But what if we turned the tables on this line of thinking? What if instead we defined peer pressure as a negative, we defined it as a positive? Peer pressure could be re-thought of as persuasion from one's peers to think a certain way or to do certain things that you might otherwise not, only this time we're looking at things that would cause us to shine.

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Picture of a sparkling diamond
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We all hold within us the potential to influence others and it's up to us to decide how to use that power. Do we encourage people to get into  trouble or do we encourage them to make an impact? Do we persuade someone to steal from a neighbor or to help a neighbor? Do we try to get others to give up or keep trying?

Despite popular belief diamonds are not formed from coal, but from pure carbon crystals. Carbon incidentally may appear to look like coal. They are converted into what we know as diamonds under the intense heat and crushing pressure found in the Earth's mantle. The  mantle is between the Earth's crust and core; about 100 miles (150+ km) below the surface. 

It's only under this extreme pressure that carbon crystals become beautiful diamonds.

Like carbon crystals, sometimes we to need a little positive pressure from those around us to help bring out the beauty within. Sometimes we need a little encouragement, a little push in the right direction, or some positive persuasion to reach our full potential.

Instead of discouraging other from pursuing their dreams, we have the option to be a positive influence. We can encourage others to try out for the team, interview for that job, go back to college, apply for that scholarship, write their own book, go on that trip, and ask that person out on a date. We're all aware of the power that negative peer pressure can have on others and how it can bring people down. So let's not make the mistake then of underestimating the power of positive peer pressure.

What could you accomplish if you had someone pushing you to succeed instead of chopping you down? These are the types of people we should surround ourselves with. But don't overlook the people already in your life. Sometimes we need to take the first step. 

Show someone you care about today how you're behind them. Encourage their strengths and gifts. Gently persuade (don't push) them to move towards their dreams and  goals. Show them that even if they just see carbon crystals, you see the makings of a diamond!

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