There is a universal idea that says you are the average of the five people you spend time with, which means that your five closest friends and you are very similar. While this may be true in some manner, countless people interpret this line in too many ways which make it often misunderstood.
In today’s world, there are a lot of these general concepts which are often recurring and strengthened by belief. And a myriad of people gets confused when it comes to the real meaning or understanding of such quotes.
Think about your five nearest friends for a minute. Are they somehow like you? Among them, is there anyone who brings out the best in you? Or is there someone that brings you down?
Should you be selective about whom you spend your time with, even if it is making a deliberate choice to lose a few friends?
The line “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” is credited to the late entrepreneur Jim Rohn but it has been used and reworded by many successful people along the way. They describe that if you want to be successful and productive; you have to surround yourself with such individuals and mentors who have the same ambition as you.
But for this, you do not have to choose, get rid or replace your current friends in the process.
Understanding the Concept
If you are always around go-getters, the fact of being in their company gives you the desire to push yourself harder to succeed. You directly sense great and optimistic feelings of excitement. And even when you are alone, the thought of them just inspires you.
On the other hand, if there are one or two pessimistic persons among the five people you spend most of your time with; you get the feeling that spending time with them sucks your spirit, dreams and all your positive energy, just like a vacuum.
We all know such people, acquaintances, friends or relatives, who are never happy in life or always complaining about something. Such people kill dreams by spreading doubts and negativity. The reason is that they failed at something somehow, so they tell others that they cannot do it as well.
Anyway, losing friends or relatives happens on its own, whether you like it or not, meaning that people who do belong in your life will still be there after you have achieved success and wealth, and those who did not will be gone.
All successful people, as well as me, have gone through this process. As your circle of friends decreases, it will increase in value. It is simply the natural order of things.
Should You Get Rid of Some Friends Anyway?
Some teachers out there are very literal and suggest that you get rid of friends that do not fit into the type of person you want to become. In some cases, it may help you get out of a bad situation, improve your life and do whatever it is you want to do.
In other circumstances, I do not see the point. If your circle of friends you spend time with is content with what they have, let them be. But if you are in the pursuit of personal and financial success, or some other dream, some things have to change for you to go forward.
You have to realize that you have a different agenda than theirs and that it does not stop you from staying friends. But in some way, it may create an inner conflict for you, such as working while they are partying.
You have to make a choice and break free to pursue your desires because if you decide to hang out with them, you will remain like them, satisfied with what they have.
You should realize that social influence makes you similar to the people you are spending time with. It is very hard to not conform to some degree. Being around successful people is one of the reasons which helps you become more successful.
Keeping and Making the Right Friends
You must understand that your close companions have a significant influence on your personality. If you want to be better at anything, you should surround yourself with people who know the subject better than you do.
You catch my drift! So choose wisely, because the five people you spend the greatest time with are most likely your life partner, your parents, maybe your sister or brother, your childhood’s best friend or even a colleague.
I would rather suggest you trust your instincts and your gut feeling when it comes to choosing the people who you have a natural connection with and are naturally more comparable to you. And then there are also the friends you tend to have a shared history with, which are important and cannot be forgotten.
They have been loyal to you, so it is a matter of integrity. Blood makes you related, but loyalty makes you family. Friends are like the family you choose.
Seeking Out Mentors and Leaders
Trying to learn from people who know more than you do is of great value. When you seek out to build relationships with mentors and leaders, it becomes a valuable asset which gives you all the characteristics you want to copy so that you may progress.
There is an enormous potential in getting feedback and opportunities to grow by spending time with such people. Do not be afraid to follow your life, independently of others because no one else will reach what you want, only you.
You are maybe the average of five people you spend time with, but if you feel trapped, go and achieve what is on your mind with the help of mentors.
Remember that if you spend too much time around people who are complaining about life or blaming others and situations all the time, your energy and your confidence will be shattered.
Avoiding Negative People
Avoid negative people as they are resentful. They often begin with the words “What if…?” If you want to get where you want in life, you have to cut these undesirable people out of your life. If it is a relative or else, and it is not possible; then shorten the times you spend with them.
So, to become more successful, you must avoid and even let go of friends, relatives or anyone else who is dragging you down, and you need to surround yourself with people you admire and want to copy.
If some people do not accept you for your dreams, then they were not nor are not real friends.
Pessimism, failure, and negativity are contagious diseases that spread to those around them while optimism, achievement, and positivity are infectious qualities that rub on those around them.
Therefore, be careful who you spent time with. The fact remains that there is something to be gained from spending time with the right people.
Tips on How to Spend Time With the Right People
- Surround yourself with individuals who have the same interests.
- Get yourself around people who have what you want.
- Go to classes.
- Get in a forum online.
- Find mentors and leaders to copy.
- Read the biographies of successful people.
- Reach people who have generosity, ambition, success, dreams and a healthy lifestyle.
- Stay away from potential criticism or low expectations of others.
- Find a few friends who have similar goals to yours.
- Accept you for who you are.
- Believe in yourself.
- Be sure to go for what you want in life.
- Let no one stop you.
In the process of going for my dreams, I have lost some friends, family, and acquaintances but what is left are considered family to me. I also gained some new friends who are on the same mission as me. So even if somehow, you have to modify some of the five people you spend time with, you can still have both worlds.
Sergei VanBellinghen, Founder & CEO of First-Class Lifestyle and sergeivanbellinghen.com, Success & Self-Improvement Expert, Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Online Marketer & Business Partner of Stuart Ross, also a passionate Globetrotter and an avid audio booker