“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn
Everyone has heard at some point the phrase “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – haven’t you? Motivational speaker Jim Rohn, speaking about the law of averages, introduced this concept that now is noted everywhere.
Today I’d like to talk about this and how those people we choose to spend most of our time with impact our lives. It’s a reflection of what I’ve learned over the years – when I was young I used to choose quantity over quality. I used to be very social and know lots of people. But as I grew older, I leaned that it’s very important to pick well who we surround ourselves with, and started having difficulties finding real connections. Am I the only one?
Our relationships, financials, attitudes, professional success or anything else we want in our life, will tend to be close to the average of these conditions in the closest people we associate with. Why? Well, look around you. Do the conversations you have with those you surround yourself with focus on the present or past? Do they have a forward-looking, positive attitude or a blame and negative vibe? Ask yourself:
- Are you surrounded by empowering people? Those who no matter what will find the positives and will find a way?
- Are you surrounded by people that are draining you down? People that exhale negativity, blame and complain?
We should be asking ourselves the two questions above to measure if we are spending the right amount of time with the right people. And it’s not easy. It’s simple, but not easy. Why? Because most times, those people who are draining us down are close friends or family and it’s hard to drawn the line…
Actually, I used to be one of those people. I was disappointed with life and focused on the negatives instead of the positives which made me a “complainer”. That’s not good. It drains people down. I was lucky enough to gain awareness and see it, but hey, I do understand if I scared people off!
When I decided to include mindfulness and meditation into my daily life I was introduced to the two terms of compassion and awareness in order to practice it. It changed my life by giving me inner peace, something I can’t remember when was last time I experienced it.
It’s funny how very recently I came across the concept of compassionate awareness. Having compassion and having awareness and direction are not mutually exclusive. This concept allows me now to take care of myself, to careful think and discern who I surround myself with, even if that means to re-establish my whole circle. I don’t judge, I’m just honest with myself and ask the questions above. I ask myself whether or not the relationships I have in my life are empowering me, are the right support to my purpose and dreams (and even if I don’t have a clear purpose, they help me gain direction).
So next time you are spending time with a friend or family member and leave the catch up feeling exhausted, with low energy levels, try to reflect and answer the questions above. Then, there you have your answer.
I’m not saying you have to cut someone from your life, but draining relationships don’t deserve quality time – at least from my point of view, that doesn’t have to agree with everyone else of course. There are people with whom you can spend five minutes, but not three hours. There are people with whom you can spend three hours, but not two days.
Look after yourself and disassociate from those who drain you down. If you are working on your personal growth and development, focus on people who understand it and empower you.
The greatest gift you could ever give yourself, the wisest investment you could ever make is your own personal development – invest in yourself: improve, grow and be better every day. And choose well who are those people that walk along your side in your journey.
With lots of love,