How to become smart whilst losing friends…

If you want to grow as a person, you almost always have to look at your life currently and make some adjustments. One of the easiest ways to gain instant smarts is to replace your friends. No, you don’t have to insult them or drive them away, but simply stop spending as much time with them as you used to.


As Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There’s no scientific evidence I know of to support him, but pretty much any successful person will tell you it’s true.

When I first heard that about 12 months ago, I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to think I could help my friends and take them with me. You see, I was hanging out with a bunch of guys that shared a similar passion (offroad racing / motorsport). The problematic fact was; their only connection to me was that passion.

I tried to take them into my new-found life with me, I tried to rescue their personality traits just as you would aim to re-train a shelter puppy. But I couldn’t. Not because I had to “take care of myself” or anything narcissistic like that, but because they simply didn’t want to come. They were happy with who they were, and they didn’t have any desire to grow, change, or differ their opinions.

So I left them behind. I’d be lying to you if I said it was easy, but I’ve never regretted it. If you want to grow, you have to become someone new, changing the way you think, how you talk, and yes, the people you hang out with.

Want to become a better person?

Well, find a few people a little better than you are, online, in real life, wherever, and become friends with them. Exchange life stories, give each other feedback, and also find ways to hang out and do absolutely nothing related to your old perception of life.

If you know them in real life, go to a movie, bowling, a coffee shop, whatever. Talk to them. If they’re online, IM them every day or two, share a YouTube video, rant about stupid politicians, or just ask about their day.

At first, talking to them might be painful. You’ll feel like an idiot. Eventually though, you’ll get smarter, just by hanging around with them. You won’t be able to help it.

That’s what good friends do: they nurture our grow.

I’m a shit writer. I like to steal other people’s ideas and throw a really catchy heading on it. Don’t get me wrong, I change the copy to reflect my own stories, my own life - but I do like to draw too much inspo from other’s crafted wording.

I run a digital agency in Australia called Hello Vino. I have also just accepted a role with a Corporate Comms company (Struber) as head of Digital and graphic design. The big thing is - Only once I lost those old friendships, did many, many doors open up for me… sometimes we all just need to shake 5 of the things that are holding us back and get on with life.

I’m a VW lover and I am just as much a bloke as I am a corporate guy. Weekday’s in in the city wearing a suit, on weekends, I’m working in my backyard on my toys… Check out my masculine blog Backyard Engineering for my welding and fabrication work.