So let me get straight to the million dollar question!
What do you want to achieve in life? And why does it matter to you?
Do you want to …
- Raise a healthy and happy family?
- Create memorable and meaningful experiences?
- Contribute to something significant that positively impacts others?
- Generate wealth that provides a secure foundation for generations to come?
These are reasonably common life goals, that I think most of us would quickly say yes to. But, with trying to achieve any of these goals, there’s one thing that most of us overlook. That is, how the people we spend time with strongly influence the direction of our life.
We are strongly influenced by those around us
When it comes to achieving the things that are important to us, we are greatly influenced by those closest to us, whether we like it or not. The people around us affect the way we think, they shape how we view the world, they impact our self-esteem, our decisions, and ultimately our actions.
Of course everyone is their own person and can make independent decisions, but research proves that we’re more affected by our immediate social group than we think. Jim Rohn, the well-known author observed;
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
That’s a humbling thought.
But it starts with you
A key aspect to living the life you want is to have an awareness of how the people around you influence your life. And then, to make conscious choices about who you spend time with. But this is not just about others, the journey starts with you!
First, before you decide who you spend time with, you need to get to know yourself a little more deeply. Ask yourself what do you want to achieve in life and most importantly, why this matters to you. Write it down as clearly and succinctly as you can.
There’s been quite a bit of talk recently about the importance of “finding your why”, and I don’t want to repeat it all here, only to say that it’s important to have a clear understanding of this before you work out who will support you in achieving what’s important to you.
One of my friends explains his “why” this way.
“My why is to be helpful. I want to help the people in my life achieve the things that are important to them. Being helpful is what makes me feel alive and gives me an enormous sense of fulfilment.”
So what is your why? It starts with you understanding what brings you joy and fulfilment, and then find the people who will encourage, energise and challenge you to move closer toward what matters to you.
The hardest part is …
The next step is probably the hardest. Assess the people you currently keep company. It may sound harsh and a little judgemental, however, it is essential that you understand their influence on your life and how that impacts you living the life you want.
For example. Let’s say you decide you want to start exercising and eating healthier for the first time in years. Who are you going to surround yourself with? Most likely the people who would be most helpful and supportive would be those on a similar journey. You don’t want to surround yourself with people who will always second guess what you’re trying to achieve and are negative. As Einstein once said,
“Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution.”
It’s funny, but also true.
So if you want to have a better chance at realising your aspirations and move closer toward living the life you want, surround yourself with good people who:
- Have similar aspirations
- Energise and inspire you
- Encourage you to achieve your goals
- Bring you joy
- Have your best interests at heart
Chances are you already know who these people are. Just spend more time with them!
But is this kinda selfish?
I guess it can seem that way, looking for people to support you achieve your aspirations. But it is only selfish if you don’t return the favour. The key is to become the kind of person and friend that you want in your life. It’s the “do to others as you would have them to do you” principle.
Imagine if we all had these people in our lives. And imagine if this is how we supported those close to us!
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it!