Choose Your Friends Wisely

Welcome to the first lifestyle post of the year. The content to date has been heavily focused on personal financial development, so I wanted to keep this post relevant to my existing audience and discuss relationships. We will explore the more tangible topics like fitness and nutrition in future posts.

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As Jim Rohn has taught us, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

This is a great piece of information to hold on to. Who do you think the wealthiest or most successful entrepreneurs hang out with?

From my experience, people often greatly underestimate the influence that their friends have on their lives. Try to take an unbiased view of your own life and how your values and drive for success have changed in accordance with the people you spend the most time with.

One of the key reasons as to why the people around us influence how successful we are is due to how we perceive success. Would you believe that the biggest influence on a person’s perception of their own success is often not their material wealth, or even their intangible achievements? The biggest influence in many cases is in fact the people around them.

Let’s say you’re 28 and just took a management role in one of the big four accounting firms. Of course, this is an admirable position, especially compared to your three best friends who are either still at university part time while working undergrad roles in mid-tier firms or simply living week to week with no real intention of improving on their own personal development. You can rest easy at night knowing that you’ve worked hard to be where you are and how your efforts have led you to the top.

But now let’s swap your three best friends for another three who own their own businesses, with each employing several staff and turning over 7 figures annually. Suddenly your position becomes less admirable not only to that set of three friends, but from your own perspective as well. Maybe now you’re an underperformer and you need to knuckle down and really work on your self-development to kick your life goals into the next gear.

Perspective is everything.

On a slightly different tangent, it’s also interesting to note a similar effect when it comes to things like positivity.

I worked in a retail store when I was much younger. Have you ever tried to keep a positive attitude in a retail store where the employees bond by sharing complaints?

It is impossible!

“This product legit sucks”, “sales targets are impossible so why bother”, “I hate coming to work. Literally cannot wait for a holiday.” - All quotes from yours truly when I was looking for social verification from those around me with a similar mindset.

Negativity perpetuates from those around you. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you replaced my colleagues with happy, positive workers my perception of the environment would have changed.

At the end of the day the job was a job. It wasn’t the greatest, but it didn’t suck either.

It was the attitudes around me that entirely shaped my own attitude, and I think this message transcends into all aspects of life.

You deserve to surround yourself with positive influences, so choose your friends wisely.