I recently came across a quote that read “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”- Jim Rohn
Without thinking about it too much, who are those five people in your life? And when you think about them are they who you would most like yourself to reflect. You know that old saying you are the company you keep? Well, it’s true and this is what I would like to focus on this week. We’ve had some time to reflect on the idea of concept and if we now can fully understand and believe that we are what we repeatedly do then it also must be clear that we are who we repeatedly surround ourselves with.
It’s simple, if you are looking to make successful sustainable positive changes in your life you are never going to get there by hanging out with perpetually unsuccessful negative people. Think back to when you were a child and your mom or dad would advise you to steer clear of certain kids or groups of people and possibly even prevent you from hanging out with them. It probably seemed annoying and unfair at the time, but as an adult they had the capacity to fully understand the idea that you are the company you keep. Even if you enter into a relationship with the best of intentions; a positive mindset, hardworking, driven, and strong it can be easy to move away from those actions and beliefs should they not be supported within the appropriate environment.
The craziest part is that most of the time being removed from your initial intentions usually takes place on a subconscious level. Therefore, it’s interesting how we often don’t recognize ourselves in the wrong place or surrounded by the wrong people until we’ve essentially hit some sort of rock bottom and it’s far too late.
So how then do we avoid this from happening?
My answer: Keeping inventory.
As we have discussed in the past we all have certain ideas of how we would like to be seen in the world. I would consider myself a very open and social person and it’s often said that I am friends with just about everyone. A statement that rings pretty true. I do my best to see the good in every person I come into contact with but I would be disillusioned to think that everyone is perfect, myself included. As positive and optimistic as I am there are days when I get down and out and it would be easy during those times to slide into a pool of negativity if I wasn’t careful about who I invited to swim with me.
The first step in the process of building your ideal supporting team is to sit with yourself and get honest on what it is you require or need out of the voluntary relationships you hold. Don't allow people to fall into your life just because. Truthfully uncover what the important qualities the other person should possess are and create standards. Get out your journal and start making a list. You’ll probably find this list reflective of many of your personal values, such as honesty, a self-starter, initiative, humor, achievement, courage, diversity, candor, social responsibility, stability, success, etc…
Once you have come up with your list of characteristics give value to each element (perhaps you try a sliding scale between 1 and 10) and use it as a point of reference. Next, place a star next to all the characteristics you have valued at a 7 or higher and get better acquainted with them. These are what I call my non-negotiable's. The necessary elements that allow me to live my best life.
The more often you focus and practice with this list the more and more these traits become exhibited in your behavior in turn attracting like-minded individuals. Again we’re back to the idea that we are what we repeatedly do. As your focus shifts to your core values you should notice an automatic shift in the way you steer general conversation and engagement with others. This consistent practice should eventually allow you to easily start making better decisions on whether to fully engage with certain people and energy or not.
The key here is that you now set the tone for the relationships you have based on your expectations, not the other way around. You are in complete control, so when it comes time to take responsibility for something the only person to look at is yourself. The moment you notice someone is becoming too negative, complacent, draining, lackluster it’s time right then and there to reevaluate the relationship and make changes. If you’re just beginning to build a relationship and you notice the numbers aren’t adding up, perhaps this isn’t a relationship worth having.
No judgement. They just aren’t in the same space as you and it’s that simple.
I mean think about it, I’m sure you can come up with 100 reasons why someone could be worth knowing or calling a friend (you work together, you’re both creatives, they have dope style, you conveniently live in the same neighborhood, you’re interested in the same extra-curricular activities, etc.) but if they don’t match up to your handful of non-negotiable's you’re most likely exerting energy with them that could be better served.
Take the time this week to sit with this idea and try it on for size. You may find this system works for you or you exactly as it is or you may find that you come up with something entirely different. Get creative. Your friends should motivate you to do better and be better. So, at the end of the day the goal is to get you thinking about your ideal support team that will help you reach the success you deserve.
Your non-negotiable's are going to be what lift you higher in life and propel you forward. Without them you are continuously treading water in the shallow end of the pool. So start swimming and shedding the weight of anything and anyone trying to hold you down.