You are the Average of the People You Spend the Most Time With

You are the Average of the People You Spend the Most Time With

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

Who do you spend your time with? Did you know that a large degree of your success comes down to the people you associate with?

They determine how you think, how you act, and – ultimately – how successful you will be. They actually make you. The more time you spend with people who stretch you, the further you will get. So it makes sense to have the right people by your side. Be selective about who you spend time with.

Ask yourself:

Who are the 3 to 5 people in your life that you spend time with? Write them down on a piece of paper.

Who are they, really? What adjectives would you use to describe them? Confident… ambitious… honourable… creative? How happy, optimistic, and enthusiastic are they? Do they have qualities you would be proud to have?

What do they do with their lives? How successful have they been?

Are they on track to living whatever you consider to be an ideal life? Are they helping you to live your ideal life?

Will they help you get to the next level? Do they encourage you and drive you forward? Or do they pour cold water on your ideas?

How many of your close relationships were deliberate and how many did you fall into? Take control over who you spend time with, for optimal living. If you were creating your social circle from scratch, would you choose the same type of friends, colleagues and other relationships?

From your list, choose which people you want to continue spending time with. If none of them meet the standards of excellence you want for yourself, reduce the time you spend with them. Look out for new people to spend more time with. Don’t be afraid of losing some friends or family support, in order to surround yourself with the right people. Make more time for those who deserve you, and spend less time with those who don’t.

Your time is limited and valuable, so don’t waste it on negative people, or let inertia keep you stuck in the same place. Move away from people who hold you back and towards people who drive you forward. Be sociable, widen your network and cultivate positive and supportive friends. Look for chances to give value to relationships, rather than take it. Attract incredible people in your life by being an incredible person yourself.

If it’s true that you become the average of the people you spend your time with, instead of becoming the average of a group of average people, it makes sense to be with the best of the best – people who are eager to be amazingly successful, amazingly happy, and doing whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

The power of the people you associate with is incredible. Choose your associates with discernment. Enjoy their enthusiasm, learn from them and feel yourself lifted up to the next level, purely by being in the same room with them.

But while it’s great to be surrounded by positive, supportive people who want you to succeed, it’s also necessary to be able to take criticism. According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, “Tell Me What I Did Wrong: Experts Seek And Respond To Negative Feedback,” experts need negative feedback to enable them to progress.

Doubters, critics, and the envious help you to sharpen your skills and develop resilience in the face of challenge. Still, you don’t have to spend much of your time with such people! The key to making it to the top in any industry is to have a tight network of confidants to support you.

So, who deserves your time? People you admire and role models you want to emulate. People who are consistently improving themselves, and who help you to improve yourself. People with qualities you want to develop, like happiness, positivity, passion, success, adventure.

Who doesn’t deserve your time? Those who hold you back from living your ideal life. People who are negative, inflexible, judgmental, dishonest.

This doesn’t mean that you have to shut everyone else out of your life. Fill your own life with amazing people and you’ll be better able to serve the world and help others to live their best lives. Offer your strength to those who need and deserve it. But don’t get pulled down – ensure you’re strong enough to pull both of you up. You can shine your light in all directions, but gravitate towards those who deserve your warmth. Be loyal to friends who have been good to you, and to family. But don’t let this give them any excuse for not treating you in a way you deserve.

Build your own dream team: spend time with people who act as your mentors, coaches, cheerleaders, or muses. This goes for what you say to yourself, too, and your attitude towards yourself. If you notice that you criticise yourself and tell yourself negative things, start to encourage yourself. ‘Change the voices’ is a phrase I use a lot for clients who are being held back.

The world is full of amazing, passionate, inspiring, incredible people. There are also complainers, cheaters, freeloaders, and energy vampires who’ll suck the life out of you. Spend more time with people who challenge you and move you forward. Spend less time with people who hold you back and take your energy away. You have the power to select who you spend time with.

Who would you like to have in your life? This can include both specific people and types of people. Describe the ideal friend and the ideal friendship.

Now, what do you need to do, to meet and maintain such relationships?

Who do you need to become, in order to deserve them?

Further Reading:

Leverage Your Network by Marc Winn (click on here)

Tell Me What I Did Wrong: Experts Seek and Respond to Negative Feedback by Stacey R Finkelstein and Ayelet Fishbach.
Journal of Consumer Research, The University of Chicago Press 24/08/11 (click on here)

Jim Rohn – lding Your Network Marketing Business “The Law on of Averages” (click on here)

If the above topic, or indeed any of my blogs are of interest to you, then contact me and let’s talk! Drop me an email at

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add a comment
  1. toritseju ojo says

    What a great write up, I love it and it has made me rethink about the people around me and most importantly the people I spend most of my time with. Please keep it up

  2. Lovely to read. I had this epiphany many years ago in my late twenties when I read something that said you are a reflection of your friends and wow it was like a hit between the eyes. The company I was keeping wasn’t that wasn’t pretty. So I started to clean up my act and I haven’t looked back since. Thanks for the reminder of just how important it is to stay mindful of the company you keep.

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