“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn
This quote by motivational speaker and personal development guru describes how a successful person is affected greatly by the people they choose to spend time with. Now I’m a big believer that we are the masters of our own destiny. Luck and circumstance can certainly play a part, but ultimately only you personally can find success and happiness. But it’s you and not you alone that creates success. As a starting point you need to be driven, motivated believe in yourself, have the self-awareness and learning agility to develop the right skills and behaviours to be successful. But that’s just you. Now you need to add all that awesomeness and smarts and multiple it by five. You need to be spending your time with 5 people that motivate, inspire and drive you, people that bring out the best in you and perhaps even keep you accountable.
The principle is pretty simple; basically, we conform to our environment. If you go running with five slow people, you’ll naturally slow down. If you run with five superstar fast runners you’ll speed up. If you spend your time with five people that are unhappy, negative, at war with the world or have a victim mentality this will greatly affect your ability to think positively and see the worlds of possibility before you. If however, you spend time with people that are joyful, grab life with both hands, are motivated, driven, believe in themselves and you, then you are more likely to be happy and inspired to do great things.
Who are These People?
So what do you do if you look around you and find that the five people that you’re spending the majority of your time with are, unhappy, going nowhere, possibly even drag you down? Dump them. Yep drop them quicker than a hot potato. I’m kidding. If you have dear friends or family that are going through a hard time of course, as the wonderful person of high moral values that you are, you’ll be there to support them. However, look at the allocation of your time. Are you spending it wisely with the right people? Have you fallen into a habit of spending time with old friends that you know don’t support your success or align with where you want to go in life? Ideally you’ll be there for and support friends and family that need you. However, also ensure you allocate the maximum amount of time possible with people that encourage you to be the best version of yourself.
Your Version of Success
If success for you means living in a beach hut, minimising your carbon footprint, dedicating yourself to saving endangered species and raising your children in the most environmentally friendly way possible, how will you make that a reality? If your desire for life is to make the world a better place for this generation and generations to come but so far you haven’t made any inroads in your quest as you’ve been driving your V8 to work at a soul destroying government job pushing around paper. You need to find like-minded people, people who are living the life that you’d like to live. Not only will they motivate and inspire you to follow your dreams they can also teach you how to make them a reality.
If, for you, success means being a high-flying corporate or worldly entrepreneur, you need to find your flock.
Where Do You Find These 5 Other Awesome People?
Firstly within your family and friendship group, who inspires and motivates you? When you catch up with one of these people, who makes you feel great, keen to take on the world, do things that matter, be a better person..? Lock in time with them. Make it a priority to spend more time with them. If you want to break into a higher level of leadership or different industry space, you need to get out there and meet the right people. Personally I detest “networking events”. They conjure up images of bad suits, cheap wines, aggressive handshakes and people leaning in too close and pushing their business card on you. The worst events, in my experience, also involve creepy men that are actually looking more to “pick up” than anything else. My advice is attend progressive conferences and events, offer to get involved and join committees. Use LinkedIn groups to find other like-minded people. Join organisations looking to drive change. Listen to podcasts to hear about conferences and events. Ideally join Mastermind groups. This is a fantastic way to stretch yourself intellectually, drive your business success, contribute to others success and build strong relationships, sometimes even friendships for life.
You are the Average of the 5 People you Spend the Most Time with
So have a look at your phone, who's listed in your “favourites”? Who do you spend the majority of your time with? How do they make you feel? Do they believe in you and your dreams? Can they help you get there? If the answer is no then perhaps you want to find and/or build some more key relationships.
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