A recent New York Times article explored ways our peers influence us. The article contends that if we surround ourselves with positive people who are committed to healthy lifestyles and who support each other, we are more likely to behave similarly. In Okinawa, Japan, these kinds of communities are set up deliberately. And it’s an emerging concept here in the US.

At the center is a proven notion that we adopt the behaviors and mindsets of the people with whom we spend time. Who is that for you? People who complain or cast themselves as victims, or positive people who get a thrill out of exercising and engaging in fulfilling endeavors?

Another important question: What role do you play within your social groups? Are you the naysayer or the glass-half-full friend? Positivity is contagious. Choose to be the person who sets a tone that will infect the rest of your group with optimism and hope.