“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
When I heard the quote above it got me thinking about the five people who I spend the most time with in my life. In fact, I got thinking about it so much I ended up spending an evening watching YouTube clips of Jim Rohn’s various motivational speeches. He was full of great business and life advice.
But today, I keep thinking about whether I am the average of the five people I spend the most time with.
It’s an interesting concept. I know many times in my past I’ve been drawn towards people who aren’t good for me. Friends who eventually stabbed me in the back, boyfriends who weren’t good for me, colleagues who tried to get ahead in a company over me or bosses who were just downright dreadful. Each time I’ve made a conscious decision to drop the person who has been so destructive towards me and each time I’ve done so, it’s been accompanied by an enormous sense of relief.
Over the past few years, I have made a conscious decision to spend time with people who inspire me, are smarter than me, who push me to be a better person and who connect with me on a deeper level. I have also worked hard to remove the ‘dead weight’ people from my life. This is easier said, than done.
But as I look around at the people in my life who I spend the most time with, I know I’ve made the right choices.
I have more than 5 people who influence me strongly, and all of them are in my life for a reason.
I obviously spend a lot of time with my girls. They teach me things each and every day. Probably most often to be humble. They don’t care what I do for a living; they care about the amount of love in our lives. Whether I am emotionally available to listen to them when they have a problem and whether I can help. To them I’m just Mum. They also care if the fridge is empty and if I can drive them to all their activities. For me they are a daily reminder that life is short and fleeting. It was only days ago (or so it seems) they were babies and now they are looking at universities and high school. It won’t be long and they will have flown the nest.
My best friends – three incredible women who are wildly different – a fearless entrepreneur, a mystic and a free spirit masquerading as a historian. On paper you’d never pick the four of us as friends. But somehow the Universe delivered us all to each other in the right way, at the right time and I wouldn’t be without any of them at this moment of my life.
So that’s five. But what about all of the others who influence me in so many ways?
My business mentors. Two wonderful men with different business styles who both believe in me 110% and help me every time I ask. They both push me outside of my comfort zone to be the best I can be and I love them both for it even if I don’t always agree with their advice.
Other friends who I see less frequently but I connect with on a deeper level. Whether we’ve seen each other last week, last year or a few years ago, being or talking with them always makes me feel better. Some of them live close by and I see them frequently; some live on the other side of the world, but they are always in my heart.
And business clients who I respect. When I started my business I decided that as long as I can be financially responsible, I will only work with people I respect and enjoy being around. I’ve worked for too many years of my life for people I didn’t respect and I figured it was time to make a change. So, as long as it’s feasible, that’s my company policy. (And I’m really hoping it’s always feasible, although I don’t want to have an empty fridge.)
There are others too. I truly believe the right people find each other at the right time. Some have come into my life for a few minutes or for a day or for years but their contribution to my life has been exactly what I needed at that moment.
And as I believe the right people find each other at the right time, then it must follow that I am in certain people’s lives for a reason too. A friend of mine recently reminded me that any relationship is a two-way street. That there is a constant giving and taking between the parties and he wanted me to realise how much I give to him in our friendship as well as receiving from him. Sometimes all I can see is how much I receive from those who are closest to me. I forget to notice how I help those I love on their life journey too.
So I was grateful for his reminder. And for his friendship for the past 30 years.