Shiny Happy People

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”

I’d heard this statement a few times but I’d never really taken it on board. But after the last few months, I’ve realized that Jim Rohn really hit onto something when he said that.

I don’t know that I’m all that worried about the number of people — three, five, seven… doesn’t really matter to me. Do I agree with the idea that we’re a direct reflection of the people we’re closest to and spend the most time with? Hell yes!

Five People Missing In Action

The strange thing is that Sarah and I have been on the road for a year and a half, living the digital nomad life. And I’ve been away from home for even longer — heading for two years at this stage. We’ve been all over the place from the USA to Thailand and back a few times with visits to Australia, Bali, New Zealand and Taiwan thrown in.

This generally means that we spend a huge amount of time in each other’s company. We travel together, work together, live together, cook together. We’ve probably spent more hours together in two years than most couples do in five years, maybe more.

The flip side of the traveling lifestyle is that when you’re only in town for a couple of months (working hard, not being a tourist), you don’t generally get the chance to build new, close friendships.

When we’re back in her hometown of Seattle or mine of Auckland, we hang out with friends and family. The rest of the time, you’d be hard pressed to find five people we actually spend any time with.

But since my back went bang, that’s all changed, thanks to power of the podcast. After only listening to one podcast in my life, I’ve become an addict, as has Sarah. We listen to one or two every single day and the results have been incredible. Basically, the five people we spend the most time with are life-changers who kindly bring their own circles of interesting people around to hang out with us.

Based on my podcast history, our respective circle of five is now:

  1. Each other (and that’s great because I love spending time with Sarah)
  2. Rich Roll
  3. Tim Ferris
  4. Pedram Shojai
  5. This slot varies depending on how we feel, with Lewis Howes, Shawn Stevenson and a few others popping in and out.

Take those guys and scroll through the guests on their podcasts and you’ll be blown away by the sheer depth and breadth of the knowledge and insight on offer across any number of topics.

We’ve learned so much in under four months that it’s hard to explain. It literally has been life-changing for us. And it’s easy to track too because exactly as Jim said at the top of this post, we’ve become the average of those people, and we’ve been in their lives and on their journeys.

Thanks to them, we’ve been introduced to inspirational people like Mishka Shubaly, Tim VanOrden, Wim Hof, Richard Betts, John Joseph and Russel Simmons. We’ve spent time learning about life, the microbiome, the role of the mind in health and medicine, state of the art thinking around diet and nutrition, ketosis, healing and so many other health-related topics. We’ve also learned a lot about investing, business, and making money.

How Do You Get Your Fix?

But where do we find the time?

Well, I used to listen to music any chance I got. I love music anywhere. In the shower, in the car, at gym, while cooking or walking — you name the place, I’ll usually be listening.

And then there’s TV. We don’t watch broadcast TV. It’s a total waste of time but we did love our Netflix. We’d watch series and documentaries that res0nated with us — only the high-quality stuff of course (I would say that wouldn’t I?).

But now, that’s all on hold. Given how much we’re getting from the people in the podcasts, we’d rather spend time with them instead of losing ourselves in the distraction of entertainment, even the good stuff.

If you’ve got some time to spare, try a few podcasts and see if your life doesn’t improve in some way. You’ll learn something, I can guarantee that! If you think you don’t have any time, I’ll bet that finding a way, any way, to free up 20 or 30 minutes a few times a week would have an impact. They’re free, and the choices are endless, so fire up a podcast App and get stuck in.

After all, if there’s one thing I’ve understood from my recent experiences, it’s that working on my mind is at least as important as working on my body. In the same way that I am what I eat, I’m also very much what I do and think.

Shiny Happy People? I never, ever imagined I could be one. But it’s happening, and of course, the REM song still sounds good after all these years.
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