Choose your friends wisely, you are the average of them
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You probably know Jim Rohn. This is one of his well-known quotes: “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” Though clarifying, this is a somewhat alarming fact. You need to widely open your eyes when cherrypicking your closest companions.
The impact of the environment on people’s personalities and the future is nothing like obscure these days. All of us are extensively influenced by the people who are closest to us. This is a fact, whether you like it or not. These people are shaping your attitude, decisions, future, success, failures, etc. This has been proven in research that the environment’s effect on people is much more than it appears.
The most fundamental tool by which we must enhance the quality of our lives is the people we interact with. You will eventually start to behave and think like them. Psychologists claim that the people with whom you usually interact determine around 95 percent of your success or failure in your life.
That is unbelievable, isn’t it?
Craft your squad gingerly
Some people limit your progression, while others can push you forward. This is a fact and you should be aware of it. You cannot attract a bunch of negative friends around yourself and wish for a positive life. Also, doing all the right things and simultaneously gathering lower-standard friends around yourself can lead to certain failures.
Therefore, you need to assemble your team as meticulously as possible. That said, you should choose those who you admire the most. Your friends are meant to be those who can lift you higher. Spending time with people whom you wish to be like can accelerate your growth rate in your desired direction.
Do not repel critics
It is obvious that most people prefer to surround themselves with kind, positive friends; nevertheless, it does not necessarily mean you should avoid critics in your life. In fact, critics are sometimes more beneficial than positive friends who more often than not tend to magnify, or even exaggerate, your strong points.
This is unbelievably worthwhile to have a friend who can tell what you did wrong; it’s the bitter truth but franly, you need feedback on your way towards success, period!
Novices need to be approved. They embrace the friends who admire what they do, regardless of the correctness of what they have done; on the other hand, experts know the value of critics and try to have them by their side. Progression is the byproduct, read child, of resolved problems, and who makes you aware of mistakes? Yes, critics, or rather those who you decide to listen to.
The more successful you become, the more you will be in need of criticism. The fact that you are strong and successful simply proves you have done and are doing enough right things. Then, what you now need is some critics to help you fix the remaining wrong things you are doing.
Stimulate your thoughts
If you need to reinforce your muscles, you should place them under stress. It goes the same for your knowledge and thoughts. Those friends who never ask you challenging questions are never going to help you use your full potential. This way, there is no chance to conceptualize a bright future.
We are not advising that you pick friends who mostly talk about philosophy, politics, existentialism, or any super-fancy stuff; instead, the goal is to have friends who can turn your brain on and stimulate your creativity.
Put in your squad of friends those who are able to ask you challenging, sometimes uncomfortable questions that can force you to think. Although these questions are occasionally stinging, they can put you on the right track.
Friends, or mentors?
Mentors are more than necessary in our lives. We definitely need someone to guide us on how to pass the hardships ahead. It is not just entrepreneurial activities that are in need of wise mentorships. In fact, we need personal mentors too.
Mentors in one’s life can be their mother, sister, or any of their family members in most cases. If you can see a friend or someone who is more experienced than you and can show you the right way, then stick to them and have them in your circle.
Come on! Do not be like a lazy panda. Encompass yourself with friends who are in love with sports and exercise. If you get used to hanging with the people who never work out, chances are high that you will end up like them too.
Put yoga or any kind of sports you like in your schedule. Choose friends who make you do so. Have enough sleep daily if you already don’t. Pick friends who plan for their physical wellness. Stay in shape and know the value of such pals.
Those who have daily exercise in their plans are highly likely friends with some people similar to themselves. Consequently, you will become one too if you spend time with them. The optimal result is having a healthier life and a healthier mind as well.
Not just your friends
It is not just your friends who are forging your future; your ultimate life is dictated by all of the influential people in your life too. Your spouse, family, co-workers, etc. Think about your co-workers for example; are they motivating, energetic individuals who can contribute to your success? Or, are they just pessimistic, negative people who are used to complaining about how tough life is? How you feel about your work is absolutely dependant on how you feel about your colleagues.
Do not let some bad apples ruin the whole bunch. Eliminate those who are poisonously scattering hatred around you; those who add nothing to you in any sections of life.
Being the smartest in the room may seem pleasing at the beginning; however, it may feel tiresome as soon as you can see others can add no value to your life. On the contrary, you need to surround yourself with smarter people who can teach you things you are not already good at. This can level up your “average” and enhance the qualities of your life. You can detect your weak spots while interacting with smarter people.
Spending more and more time with smarter-than-yourself people will eventually make you one of them. They are doing what you dream about. If you can see your desired future in their personality, then you have picked them wisely. Instead of remaining in the comfort zone with those having the same levels as yours, hang out with people with higher standards.
Long story short, if you tend to run a prosperous business someday, then hang out with successful, prosperous CEOs.
Know your “ideal”
Finding the right friends is not what you should do right away. Beforehand, you need to know what you want from your top five besties. You need to be straight with yourself and know where you want to be in five years.
I suggest that you jot down a list of the most crucial goals you already have in your life. That defines your ideal. Then, you will know what you want from a friend. You can now search for those ideals and find the persons carrying them, instead of searching for new friends without even knowing what you want from them.
If you want to be a better driver, for example, or a better speaker, open your eyes widely to see who has these characteristics and can be a friend to you. Surround yourself with people of this kind and try to learn from them what you need.
You need to put yourself under the microscope to see who you are. The best and most thriving relationships are symbiotic. In other words, the relationship goals are two-sided. You are not the only one in a relationship who needs a better, smarter friend who can push them up. Your friend is in need of that too.
If you want a friend with high standards who can elevate your business, personality, attitudes, etc, you need to do the same for them too. Then, you should work on yourself as well. Enhance your skills and attitudes, so you can have something for your friends too. This is to ensure your good relationship will last. Your friend should never feel that you are bringing them down.
Exercise: scores of your top five
Let’s crunch some numbers. Your current friends have values and that is a certainty. Although their value is not possible to be calculated by math, this is not a bad idea to sort them by their numerical values.
Write down the names of your top five friends. Assign them numbers from 1 to 10, with 1 showing the lowest and 10 the highest standards you prefer in your hypothetical friend. Now, calculate your average.
Let us assume you have an average of 6. Therefore, you need to cross out those friends whose score was lower than 6. You need friends who are higher than yourself in any areas you define as your goal. In other words, you should pick some 7, 8, 9, or even 10-point friends to increase your 6.
For the reasons above, it is highly obvious that the friends you spend the most time with will greatly influence you and your future. You need to draw a circle around yourself and create a wall made by filters on its circumference. Then, not any person can pass the filters and become your friend, as you gingerly pick your team. Your whole future is going to be a lot similar to that of your friends.
Inside the circle of your friends, not only should you put positive individuals, but you should also keep in mind that critics are maybe even more profitable than the mostly-complimenting friends you already have. Critics are like gold since they shed light on your weak spots and then you can solve the issues.
Friends should be able to generate challenging thoughts for you. Otherwise, what are they good for? They should give birth to questions that can change the direction of your life. In addition to that, be aware that it is not just your friends who can affect you greatly; the circle of your friends can contain members of your family, co-workers, etc.
You need to have smarter friends than you, so they can lift you higher. Also, you should know your ideal standards before even picking friends. What is more, it is not just your friend who should have advantages for you; you should work on your qualities to be as beneficial to your friend as your relationship remain strong and long-lasting.
What do you think? To what extent can a friend affect someone’s future and life? Write in the comments below about your experience.
About Sanan Sanani
Co-founder and CEO of Sanani Holding Ltd and Sterling Property Advisors.
Sanan Sanani is an entrepreneur, a savvy businessman and self-proclaimed workaholic who loves to stay busy and make clients happy.