Most people are aware of the times when the people around them are giving them energy or sucking their energy. Extroverts are particularly sensitive to this because they tend to derive energy from their environment.
What is more subtle is the influence that the people around us have on our thoughts and actions.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn.
At an early age I noticed that regardless of the strength of my values and convictions, over time I tended to emulate the thoughts and behaviors of those around me. If I hung around whiners, I would eventually start to complain more about things myself. If I hung around people who lacked integrity or told stories about others I’d get drawn into that type of behavior. If I hung around with smokers, I smoked (yeah, I said that, jeepers!). It’s not that I simply copied my environment or that I wasn’t my own person, it’s just that those around me had a big impact on me if I spent enough time with them.
The opposite was also true for me. When I hung around confident, happy people, I tended to be in a better mood myself.
When I realized all of this was happening (sometime around my late teens and early twenties), I consciously chose to spend more time with positive people who radiated energy and less time with people who didn’t live the way I wanted to live myself.
“Our choice of people to associate with, both personally and business-wise, is one of the most important choices you make. If you associate with turkeys, you will never fly with the eagles.” ~ Brian Tracy
Stepping away from people that are close to you is not always easy to do and I recall being ostracized a bit at the time for being less available. This only served to confirm I was making the right choice.
I don’t ruthlessly judge people on whether they can add to my life or not, because I like all sorts of people and get a kick out of spending time with many different sorts, but over the years I have gravitated to spending the majority of my time alongside people with integrity, courage, compassion, love to share, enthusiasm and passion for life.
Right now the people closest to me include the following folks:
- my wife Chay (her blog here >> www.chayg.ca )
- my two daughters
- business partner and close friend, Brent Thomson
- mastermind group which includes some of my closest friends
- my brother, parents and family
- some amazing people I have met and become good friends with over at the entheos community
Each one of these people are unique and wonderful in their own right and I am truly blessed to have these people in my life. I seek ways to be around them. I embrace them, I learn from them, I am inspired by them, I build off of their success and happiness and I share energy with them. Most of all, I know they make me a better person.
So that’s my story on how I have been affected by those around me. The people around us don’t make us who we are, but they certainly are a big factor. Next time you are thinking about creating the life you want, stop and reflect on how the people around you are drawing you towards the life you want. No doubt your journey and destination will be that much better.
Life is Good.