I was chatting with a senior student in class recently. We talked about what it takes to achieve the goals you want to achieve in life. My student is already a very accomplished banking professional. And yet, there was lots more he wanted to do. One conclusion we kept coming back to in this talk is that a large amount of how successful you will be in life comes down to the people you spend time with.
This is why:
‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ Jim Rohn
This quote is one of the most powerful ones that I keep reminding myself over and over again. I am the average of the five people I spend the most time with. Others around myself determine how I think, how I act, and ultimately how successful I will be.
Who are the people you spend time with?
It does matter how clever you are. It does matter how talented you are, which skills you have, where you are born, or which family you came from. But if you surround yourself with good, positive, likeminded and most importantly to me…HAPPY people you will become a part of them as they will a part of you.
It’s a notion so simple, yet so difficult to get started with. Something I tried to do very specifically is this exercise:
Who are the 5 people in your life that you spend time with? As in, if your day has 24 hours, how many of those hours are spent with which people. (I’m guessing amongst people will be some members of your family, your spouse, business associates and some close friends.) Write those 5 people on a piece of paper.
Once you have a list of those 5 people, ask yourself this: Who are they? What do they do with their lives? How ambitious are they, how successful have they been, how happy, optimistic, and enthusiastic are they?
Evaluate carefully if those people will really be those that will help you get to the next level you want to get to. Do they push you forward when you come to them with new ideas, no matter what? Or do they tell you that what you have in mind won’t work? Have they got the guts to pick themselves up after they have fallen over again and again.
Make a choice of who in your list you want to continue spending time with. Don’t be afraid if none or only 1 or 2 amongst your 5 people today meet the standard of excellence you want to set for yourself. Keep going, decrease the time you spend, and increase the amount of time you keep your eyes looking for people that you want to have as one of your 5 closest people.
Don’t be afraid to lose some friends, support from your family, or anything else if that means you start surrounding yourself with the right people. Instead of becoming the average of some average people, become the excellence of excellent people .. the best of the best.
The people I spend time with and why
My wife Sarah. After years of agony and really unable to walk properly, with a terrible spine and associated pain she went through a spinal fusion and is now following her dream of running her own pilates school. Oh and she puts up with me and my madnesses every day.
My closest friend Steve Rowe of Shikon , who after years of agony with his knees and double replacement surgery never gives up. The true martial artist, warrior and greatest mentor I could have asked for. Keeps a happy button in the middle of his chest…never moans. Brilliant human being
A recent addition is Kwoklyn Wan the owner of the Martial Arts Expo. Even after being ripped off badly last year by his business partner, he got up dusted himself off and started again with better people around him. Full of irrepressible energy and enthusiasm for life.
Then I run into a block. As I realise I have engineered a life that is actually surround by literally dozens of phoenominal people ..in fact too many to list. I have in fact become “god of my own universe” a great quote by Woody Hareleson in my fave film ” Natural Born Killers”. This in my opinion is what you should do. But the beauty is this. So many top level people have reached this stage in their lives ..the place of “self actualisation” and maybe that is why I feel so comfortable around them. They are like me..they have made mistakes, fell down…but got up again and kept the faith in themselves and the world around them. This is what I am trying to get accross in my teachings at Way of the Spiritual Warrior.
I believe I’m someone who took longer than most people to understand this concept. I clung onto relationships with people far too long. All of them were great people, people I respect like I want to respect every other human being. Yet, I always knew these are not the people that are dying to be incredibly successful, incredibly happy, and doing no matter what it takes to chase their dreams.
Gradually I learnt this, working my way to spend less and less time with them. Today, the people I spend time with are just brilliant, I got rid of the doubters, the haters, the miserable, the emotionally challenged, the emotional vampires. Now they are most likely the smartest and most motivated people I have ever worked with before. They all have a focus and determination I’m constantly blown away by. I cling onto their enthusiasm, try to learn from their skillset as much as I can and get myself lifted onto the next level: purely by being in the same room or at the end of a phone or a skype call with them. The power they have is therefore incredible. I’m highly influenced and seek to be from them and their input. I know, because of their actions, experience, and daily work, the only impact this can have on me is a positive one. It is pushing me higher and onto the next level every day.
Whether you want it or not, I believe this is how it works. The people you spend the most time with make you. You are their average. Do you think that’s true?