Unless you make an effort to be more conscious, your companions
will probably dominate your will power and freedom of choice. You will usually be happy or
sad, loving or angry, based on the strongly-held sentiments of your family, business
colleagues, or closest friends. What a strange way to live! So many people forfeit the
opportunities which come their way each day; they don't allow themselves the understanding
that brings a greatly enriched life. They merely react to their companions much like
puppets, with straw brains, dangling from strings.
Companionship is especially powerful in influencing moods and attitudes. Generally, a
few optimists make the others in their group or family more optimistic. The optimists have
a subtle influence, so others become keen to accomplish and achieve success. Friends and
families gradually grow more willing to create a happy life experience. On the other hand,
pessimism commonly shared becomes like a disease and each member of the group goes out
into life every morning to seek evidence that his/her pessimism is wellfounded and
perfectly justified. Other shared moods, from exasperation to ecstasy, pervade the groups
of closely involved people.