“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ― Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn, author and motivational speaker, hit the nail on the head with that quote didn’t he? We are heavily influenced by our network. We tend to subconsciously calibrate ourselves to the energy of those who we are around – regardless of whether they are a good influence or not. Second to that calibration, are the standards that we hold for ourselves, such as determination, integrity and self management.
When I take a peek back at my life over the years, I can see that I grew as my circle of friends grew. If there was a negative influence in the group, it was the rest of us who were held captive. That is until one of us drew the line and distanced ourselves from their influence. When we surrounded ourselves with peers and mentors, we were constantly challenged and inspired to grow and learn. It is invigorating!
Who are the people you spend time with? It really doesn’t matter how smart you are, or how talented. All that counts, if you want to be successful, is the people you surround yourself with.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? So how do you really evaluate who those folks are and actively make yourself aware of their influence? Here are the five steps that I still use today to evaluate my sphere of influence.
- Who are the 5 people in your life that you spend the most time with? Some are going to be your family, spouce, co-workers and some close friends. Write them down
- Once you have the list, ask yourself: Who are they? What do they do with their lives? How ambitious are they, how successful have they been, how happy, optimistic, and enthusiastic are they? I usually give them a number from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. This helps me disconnect from the emotional side I feel when thinking about their life. It’s hard to be subjective when you know that person is going through something difficult.
- Evaluate the list carefully. Will the people on that list really be the ones that will help you get to the next level? Do they push you forward when you come to them with new ideas, no matter what? Or do they tell you that your ideas won’t work? Will they keep you going when you get stuck?
- Here is the hardest part. Make a choice of who in your list you want to continue spending time with. Don’t worry if you cross everyone off the list except your family and spouse. Keep going forward, start by decreasing the time you spend with them. Begin to increase the amount of time you spend looking for people that you want to have as one of your closest 5.
Don’t let the fear of loosing some friends and in some cases support from your family, keep you from surrounding yourself with the right people. Becoming the average of average people doesn’t sound that great to me.
Whether we want it to or not, this works. The people you spend the most time with make you into more of the person you want to become. Are they the right fit for what you envision? If not, stand tall, brush off the dust, chalk it up to an education, and get out there and make more connections. You are worth it!
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