Are You Surrounding Yourself With the Right People?
Your parents always told you, "Be careful who you spend time with," or some variation of that. As parents, they know you and your behaviors better even than you do, at least until you leave home. So when you started hanging out with a different crowd in ninth grade, they knew. Your behavior changed.
"You are who you surround yourself with" rings the counselor's mantra. It's true, too. You can tell by looking at others, and by looking at yourself over the years. Scientific research backs this up as well. In fact, a rule of thumb based on this research, and popularized by Jim Rohn, is that any given person is more or less the average of the five people they spend the most time with.
I spend the most time with my wife and the four guys I work closely with. It's safe to say there are various mannerisms, habits, and behaviors I've picked up from these people. I've noticed it, and I'm sure others have, too.
In one way or another (if not many), you're going to resemble who you spend time with. This is why you'll often see celebrities who've been best friends for years. They're always building each other up and growing together. This is also why you'll often see the same group of people doing the same old thing and never going anywhere. Of course, the bulk of people fall someone in between the celebrities and the bums.
Are you surrounding yourself with the right people to help you be the person you want and need to be? It's not an easy question to answer! I think for most of us the answer we finally come up with is "no."
I think most of us spend the majority of our time with those it's convenient to be around. Maybe most of your time is spent with co-workers just because they're already around. Or maybe you still hangout with your middle school best friend just because their presence is comforting, even though you have totally different ideas and goals.
These aren't bad things, but they beg a certain set of questions. What are you doing to help yourself grow? Who are you letting be a primary influencer in your life? Are you surrounding yourself with the right people?
I think many don't ask these (albeit complicated) questions because they really have no idea what they want for themselves, nor do they care much about what potential they have in their lives. Too many people simply live in the moment until it's too late.
I know some of you reading this are older, and you're reading it so you can share an inspirational article with your children or someone in that stage of life. Thank you for reading and sharing! I also know that many of you are younger, and are still unsure of your life's direction and what steps to take. That's perfectly reasonable! You're not alone. I don't have a fool-proof guidebook for you, but I want to give you this bit of encouragement.
Be selective in who you choose to spend your time with. If you're like most people, you want to grow. You want to be better, to be successful, to build a stronger character. These things can only happen if you have someone to emulate who already possesses these characteristics.
You don't have to pick someone thirty years older than you, but you want to be around positive people. You want to choose people you respect, who you at least kind of want to be like, who you think could be good mentors to help you grow. Is that who you're spending time with now?
If not, that's okay! You can always make changes. You can always improve. Reach out directly to whomever has come to mind while reading this. If it means you spend less time with other friends who don't help you improve, that's okay, too. If they genuinely care about you, they'll understand that you're trying to better yourself. It might even encourage them to do the same!
You are who you surround yourself with. If you choose to surround yourself with positive people who embody what you want to be, they will help you grow. It's okay if you can't be everything you want to be all on your own. We all need someone's help. Are you surrounding yourself with the right people?