You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn
You’ve probably heard this quote before.
You know, I keep coming back to TIME as the one resource we just can’t get more of. All we can really do is make choices as to how we spend it. The sun keeps rising and setting, the seasons keep coming and going, and your success, your legacy, your memories, and the effects you have on others in this life are determined by how you choose to spend your time. Every moment, every day.
The easiest, and laziest, (and most natural) way to choose who we spend time with is by how they make us feel. If they’re funny, they make us laugh. If they’re caring, we feel cared for. If they admire us, we feel proud. If they’re popular, we feel socially important. If they’re athletic, we feel as though athleticism is part of our lives. If they share an activity with us, there’s an automatic bond we don’t have with other people.
Our reality is our own. We each see the world through our own glasses, tinted by our worldview, experiences, and beliefs. People with similar outlooks and opinions validate our thoughts and feelings, and thereby help us with self-assurance. They help us feel more comfortable in this world. From this self-assurance comes our confidence and willingness to grow and push forward. It’s just nice to know someone “gets” us.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “A person is a person through other persons.” He was acknowledging that our interactions with others, and others’ influences on us, shape our lives and outlook on ourselves and the world around us.
We all have our beliefs and ways that we see the world. If someone you know believes people are trustworthy, loyal, and reliable, then they likely are themselves. Conversely, if someone believes most people lie, cheat and steal to get ahead, well, you’d better watch out. That’s probably who THEY are!
Some people make the mistake of thinking we’ll be the average of our friends, but this isn’t true. A closer look at Rohn’s statement indicates “the five people”. When you read an author’s book, aren’t you spending time with him or her? When you’re constantly interacting with the same 5 – 10 friends on social media, aren’t you spending time with them? How about listening to a podcast, or watching a TV program? Look at your phone records and most frequently-called numbers. Do the same with your text messages. Think about TV shows you watch and books you’ve read. It’s very telling.
This is where you’re spending your time and with whom. Are you choosing wisely?
When you choose the path of the entrepreneur and the leader, you must also choose where you spend your social time, as it’s really all connected for you. Being an entrepreneur isn’t what you do 8 – 10 hours a day, it becomes who you are. I once heard a bodybuilder proudly explain that his sport became what his body was 7/24, not just during practices and games, like a lot of other athletes. It’s the same for the entrepreneur. There really is no time off.
We LIVE our occupation.
You have to look out for yourself. Nobody can do this for you. I’m not saying for you to be self-centered and ignore people who need your help and attention. What I AM saying is for you to be selfish – as my coach once said it to me: “selfish, all lower case letters”, and be aware of who gets your time.
Pay attention to their general attitude on life.
Do they use ‘downer’ words a lot, or have a victim mentality, or always seem to have a problem or excuse? Do you find yourself encouraging them, offering them ideas on how they can get where they want to go, only to be shot down or offered their objections? Are you always rescuing them? Are they there for you? This person will affect your attitude.
Or, are they positive, energetic, encouraging, and ambitious? When you two communicate, do you feed off each other, sharing ideas, challenging each other, and push each other with encouragement and accountability? Do you raise each other up and share your successes? Do they ever pay you a compliment? This person will also affect your attitude, and therefore your outcome, and this is WAY better.
I really encourage you to take an honest inventory of whom you spend your time with. Factor in phone calls, texts, social media, articles or books you’ve read, podcasts you’ve listened to, TV, and so on. What is it that you let INTO your brain and psyche? What do you need to eliminate? These thoughts will help you make decisions the next time you’re asked for advice, or for a coffee or a lunch, or for a phone chat.
Look out for yourself!
Now, please let me know if you have other ideas on how to be aware of, and make good decisions about, who you spend your time with. I love your comments and shares on the website. Until next time, make it a GREAT day!