Jim Rohn, self-made millionaire, successful author and motivational speaker said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I find this statement to be a little arrogant because it fails to recognise that we all have a unique personality, the ability to make choices and the power to determine our own future. Perhaps I would like the quote better if it was modified to: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, including yourself”.
But that’s just being picky and I do get the idea behind the comment – the people you’re hanging around with the most can potentially have a significant impact on who you are and who you’ll become.
Have you ever noticed how being in the company of cheerful, energetic and motivated people can inspire you to move forward and incite you to take action? Whilst being in the company of people who whinge and moan or complain that “life sucks” can drain your energy and make you feel depressed?
High-energy people elevate you. Low-energy people drag you down. It just seems like common sense to surround yourself with the former group, doesn't it? By simply choosing the kind of people you spend time with, you are literally shaping who you’ll become and your progression in life.
So...and here comes the million dollar question…who are you keeping as friends? Who do you talk to (and listen to) on a daily basis? Are they like-minded people who elevate, encourage and support you and your vision? Or are they the kind of people who drag you down with their negative tales of hardship, misfortune, resentment and blame?
Focusing on high-energy, positive relationships is in your personal best interest, and the best interests of everyone who knows you, because it will bring out your best self. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should sever relationships or cut ties with every single person who displays unattractive traits or doesn’t contribute to your goals. You can’t always do this anyway. Sometimes you are forced to spend time with negative fear-based people because they are your family or work colleagues. You can’t avoid them. But you should think about how much you allow their attitude to influence your own, and whether their company makes you feel down. If it does, you may want to consider reducing the amount of contact you’re having with them or at least limit how much information you’re sharing with them.
No matter how optimistic and consciously aware you are; hanging out with a bunch of downbeat pessimists who rain on your parade and believe the world is out to get them will undoubtedly have a destructive impact on your sense of confidence, self-worth and resilience. At some point, you may even start descending into the negative whirlpool with them. And whilst it may feel comforting having a companion to complain about everything with, it’s not worth limiting your dreams.
Alternatively, if you hang out with a group of successful, positive-minded and upbeat individuals who believe in taking responsibility for their lives, you will be elevated to become a proactive person who shapes your own success.
If you don’t have many of these people in your life (and I know I didn’t when I first took an honest look), then you will need to seek them out. Look for new opportunities to mix with successful people and create occasions to get to know them. Notice the people who encourage, inspire and believe in you and start spending more time with them. Find people who energize you towards reaching your goals and commit to regular meetings with them. Whilst you may not be able to avoid spending time with negative people in your life all together, make sure that you do everything possible to increase the amount of time that you’re spending with positive people!
Not only will you start to resonate with these people you aspire (remember: you tend to become like the people you spend the most time with) but you will also start adopting their positive beliefs, empowering language and proactive behaviour, all of which manifests itself into a better life for you. Before you know it, you’ve become one of those extraordinary people that other incredible people want to hang around and your opportunities will multiply. Better yet; you will be forging the kind of friendships that last a lifetime. And that reminds me to thank my personal cabinet of amazing women – you are my people. Who are yours?