Choose your 5 closest friends wisely

I admit it, I hadn’t read anything consciously by Jim Rohn, for time eternal.  Turns out that subconsciously his stuff seeps into “good stuff” if you read enough.  Ever read Tony Robbins or seen his TED talks? There is Jim Rohn in there.  Ever heard these quotes:We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment”. OR perhaps, Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”    Yep, Jim Rohn

Rohn was an entrepreneurial leader and widely regarded as being the foundation for the motivational speaker and coaching movement.  The man is great reading!  In fact I was reading a book of his earlier this year when I stumbled upon something I had actually lived by for many years now – “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

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Seneca also said, “Choose someone whose way of life as well as words, and whose very face as mirroring the character that lies behind it, have won your approval. Be always pointing him out to yourself either as your guardian or as your model. There is a need, in my view, for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler to do it against you won’t make crooked straight.”

It’s true, if you kick it with Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and their 2 closest pals, you WILL evolve towards having more $ in your pocket.  Hang out with the Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, my Grandmother and your Church youth leader and you will likely evolve your spiritual consciousness. Even if these people are not in your physical proximity and black book, they can still be in your consciousness through books and online avenues.

Keep talking to your brother who hates his job, your aunt who is battling depression, a chiropractor turned postal employee and a few more of the like and you are bound to start taking on pessimistic water.  Your boat will float, or sink depending on the 5 people who you are rapping with on a regular basis.

I look at the 5 people I hang out with the most – and these are people I resonate with at a deep level.  Perhaps most importantly for me, the people I choose to be with on phone, in person, or on text are the people I learn something from most.   Each of them offer me a good mixture of support and challenge individually and as a group of 5.  This is what keeps me growing!

Addition by Subtraction

My wife has a friend whom she talks to on a regular basis.  She used to talk to her daily, but has slowly dropped her frequency of calls to weekly now. This woman does nothing but complain about taxes, her job, and her constant car problems.

Every time my wife hangs up guess what type of mood she is in?  If you said motivated and excited you would be wrong.  Now my wife loves her old friend too much to ditch her completely, but she has definitely pushed her out of her top 5.  As a result my wife hangs up the phone with others and tells me how much she loves me and how excited she is to get to work AND start helping others.

The first step is to identify the top 5 people you are spending time with.  Check your phone’s text conversation history to see who’s at the top, and then check the past month’s calendar for recurring appointments and hangouts. This will give you a good indication of whose energy you’re absorbing the most.

Look at each person in the top five and be clear what the traits, actions or inactions are that most add to your values.  If there is nothing, they gotta go.  As long as there is something they hate that inspires and motivates you, hold on to that and talk about those topics the most.

Growth happens at the border of support and challenge

If you are spending time with someone who only supports you, who ALWAYS holds your hand and is too afraid to share an honest opinion and call you on your crap then you need to give them the boot!

Even if this person has something that is added to your values system, there is just too much coddling and you will eventually begin to get bored or complacent when you are around them.

Likewise, the person who is always pushing your buttons and never gives an ounce of support, they get the drop quicker than a bad habit.  It’s good to be pushed, but if they keep pushing you hard, eventually you end up in a pit minimizing your importance to the world and, even worse, yourself.

There is no growth in either situation above.  Look for balance AND value added from each person in your top 5.  If you don’t see that there is balance in the relationship AND value added, you are headed for disaster.

You see the people whom you never talk to, who are long lost and forgotten cannot hurt you.  The only people who can hurt you will likely be doing it without the consciousness that they are doing it.  They are just being themselves.  But you don’t need that persona in any part of your life.

Start looking for people with similar values and goals and look to implement the way they talk and look at the world.  Ask for support in tackling new challenges and be strong enough to ask them to call you out when you start slacking on not following through like you intend.

I love my wife, she offers me a perfect balance of support and challenge.  If it does not feel that way, and you feel out of balance in someway, look to change the situation.  Look to add an accountability partner or a coach to set new ways of being in the world.

At Full Circle Coaching and Consulting we strive to add value to your life and to do it in a way that balances support and challenge.  It is our great honor to support people in crisis and point out the hidden blessings.  It is also our privilege to celebrate the wins, and still be present enough to help you see where you could be better and serve more people despite your awesomeness.

Ask us today about a 20 minute authenticity coaching call to find your blessings in curses and/or how to maximize your wins to keep the momentum going without crashing the boat.

Guest Written by associate coach Jay Breitlow