Photo credit: paul davis

The people close to you

One of the most important things I’ve personally come to believe over the last few years is that the people I choose to hang out with will have a profound impact on the person I am becoming.

Over time, I’ve come across quite a few references to this concept of taking a lot of care over who you invite into your circle. I thought it could be useful to share them:

Here’s what Seneca said in Letters from a Stoic:

Jim Rohn had a famous line:

Something a little more direct, from Steve Winterburn:

From my favorite Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh:

For reference, here is Thich Nhat Hanh’s definition of sangha:

I’ve come to believe that willpower is overrated. I think the people you’re around are a key example of this. You can either quit smoking or aim to become more empathetic by using willpower alone, or you can try and surround yourself with people who don’t smoke and are empathetic.

Have you thought about the importance and impact of who you spend most of your time with?



Co-founder and CEO of @buffer. Say hello on Twitter @joelgascoigne.

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Joel Gascoigne

Co-founder and CEO of @buffer. Say hello on Twitter @joelgascoigne.