Are You Spending Your Time with the Right People?
How to Find Your Delightful Passion & Purpose: Work You Love 101 (#27)
Today, I’d like to encourage you to spend time with people who are supportive of your ideas and interests.
You may have heard about the…
“Average of 5” idea
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn advanced the idea that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
Now, if we take this idea literally, there are so many things we can criticize about it:
1) Your childhood relationships have a bigger impact than your current ones
By focusing on the people one currently spend time with, this idea doesn’t acknowledge the impact one’s past has on a person. As psychotherapist Danni Biondini put it,
“Most of what you know about the world, you learn in the first five years of life. You internalize messages from the culture via your family, and you model your own habits after those you see in your parents.”
2) Your extended network also has a large impact on you
By arbitrarily limiting the number of people who influence you to 5, this idea doesn’t acknowledge that your extended network also has a large impact on you.
This contradicts studies such as this one about the spread of obesity in a large social network. According to this study, a person’s risk of obesity increases by 20% if their friend’s friend becomes obese and by 10% if the friend of their friend’s friend’s does (regardless of whether they know that person or not).
As David Burkus explained it after researching the science of social networks:
You’re not the average of the FIVE people you surround with. It’s way bigger than that. You’re the average of all the people who surround you. So take a look around and make sure you’re in the right surroundings.
3) Surrounding ourselves with the right people is not a magical pill
Lastly, the “average of five” idea can come across like a magical pill. Simply hang out with the right people, and, Arbracadabra, instant success! ✨
As Gustavo Razzetti states in his excellent critique of the “average of five” idea:
“the magical approach of this phrase worries me the most — surrounding yourself with artists won’t turn you into one.”
The kernel of truth in the “average of five” idea
As these examples show, we shouldn’t take the “average of five” idea literally.
However, we also shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.
While we are likely not the average of the five people we spend the most time with, this idea draws attention to the impact our social circle has on us.
And the truth is that right now, your social circle might not have the most optimal impact on you. For instance, have you ever shared an exciting idea or plan with someone who totally demotivated you?
How different would it feel to have a group of people who believed in you and had your back (while also giving you skilled feedback on what you could improve)?
Is it perhaps time to upgrade your social circle?
Grab a pen and paper. 📝Then, take a moment to answer the following questions:
- Which people do you habitually surround yourself with?
Make a list of the 5–10 people who play the biggest role in your life.
- For each person on your list, rate how they impact you on a scale from 1 to 5.
1=Do they have a very negative impact? 👎 👎
2=Do they have a negative impact? 👎
3=Do they have a neutral impact? 😐
4=Do they have a positive impact? 👍
5=Do they have a very positive impact? 👍 👍
- Based on this rating, what are 3 things you would like to change?
For instance, you might want to spend less time hanging out with Bob who got a 2 on your scale. And perhaps you would want to call Julie more often who got a 5.
- Bonus question: In general, which people would you like to spend time with? Make a list of their characteristics so you recognize them when you meet them.
It may be helpful for you be around people who feel passionate about what they’re doing and who have a connection to their purpose. These people can serve as a positive role model as well as a resource for you.
How can you feel better in just 5 minutes right now? And what do you need to pay attention to most when creating work you love?
If you’d like answers to these questions, I invite you to get my free Work You Love Bundle.
It contains my Mini Meditation for Stress-Relief. This will help you get into a more relaxed state in just 5 minutes.
You will also receive my Essential Guide to Work You Love. It explains the 4 key components of work you love.
That way, you know what to pay attention to!
You can get my free Work You Love Bundle here.
Originally published at https://www.workyoulovecoach.com/are-you-spending-your-time-with-the-right-people on October 25, 2018.