“If you can’t change your friends. Change your friends.” Jim Rohn sure had a way with words. I mean, that’s deep.
If there’s any lesson I’ve learned over the past 45 years of my life, it’s that people come into and out of our lives.
Sometimes we simply lose touch. Sometimes we have a falling out. Other times, they are taken from us. Others seem to just drift away.
Thanks to email, SMS, and social media, it’s never been easier to stay in touch. While I have had a few acquaintances “go dark,” most people are no more than a click away.
But as we get older, we change. Like Pokemon we evolve.
And as we evolve, so should our friends.
We should all be striving to become a better version of ourselves, constantly working on improving ourselves.
It’s critical that we have people around us that support the new us. Sharing similar dreams and goals. Our friends shouldn’t just be there to pick us back up when we’re down, but also to inspire us, and push us onwards.
Great friends accept us for our faults, but at the same time challenge us to be better.
My wife is my best friend. But she’s more than that, she inspires me.
She’s worked so hard to become who she is.
She’s working her way up the food chain and today works for one of the largest companies in Silicon Valley.
At the same time, she’s mastered English and become an even better cook (I didn’t think it was possible).
Not to be outdone, I’ve gone from ESL teacher to productivity consultant and in the process become a best-selling author and contributor to many of the world’s largest publications. As my father would say, “Not too shabby.” Even after 16 years of marriage, our relationship is as strong as ever in part because of our drive to be better.
But while most of us improve, others stagnate. Some flatline. They yearn for time when they were popular, rich or successful. In essence, they get frozen in time so to speak.
The thing we forget about friends is just how powerful their influence can be. We don’t realize how much our friends affect us. But they do in many subtle ways, from our choice of clothing to our language. Humans have an innate desire to fit in, and so we do with our friends. That’s why it’s so important that the people closest to us, are pulling us in the right direction.
In my first book, iSucceed, I devoted a chapter to people, because on the road to success, they are that important.
Friends are a reflection of who we become. There’s good reason we say, “birds of a father, flock together.”
Another powerful Rohn-ism is “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Experience has taught me this is true.
Therefore, the three questions we should all be asking ourselves is
1. Who are those five people?
2. How are they affecting me?
3. Is that ok?
As children we always feel there’s enough time, but as we age, we realize just how little we have left. As such, we need to invest time where it needs to be; on the right things and on the right people.
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