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  • Writer's pictureRyan Luby

You're the average

One of the most used quotes from Jim Rohn is,

“you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Or you are the average of the five people you associate with most.

This couldn’t be more true.

This brings up a difficult realty, if you are trying to accomplish something like running a marathon and the five people you spend the most time with never run and are unhealthy, your running goal is going to be extremely difficult to stick to.

You can do it, but you might have to distance yourself from those five people for a short while so you aren’t encouraged to become a couch potato instead.

Now thats a simple example. But it can be even more difficult than that.

Do not forget that you are responsible for your life, so this truth doesnt mean anything is anyone else’s fault. It just means you need to be responsible for who you associate with most.

Maybe you want to be healthier, stop drinking, get a better job, have kids, be more positive whatever… if the five people you associate with most do not share your desire to change and grow.. You might have to make some difficult decisions.

The reality is, some people will take it personal. Some people will resent you.

My take is, you should always be honest.

This doesn’t mean you make people feel like they are a problem, you just need to explain that you are working on things and need to work hard to make changes about who you want to be. This is nothing personal against anyone else, and it doesn’t change how you feel about them no matter what.

Remember these could be simple things or huge life-changing decisions, either way you need to take action if you want to make a change.

Two takeaways:

First, if one or more of the five people you associate with most are truly toxic people to your life then there is no question you need to distance yourself from them immediately (It doesn’t matter who they are). Still not in a way to hurt people’s feelings intentionally, but get away fast. And understand that if they are a toxic person to your life, they might also be someone who really takes the change personal so be confident in your decision and do not attempt to tip toe around the truth here. If you truly care about someone, you will be honest and direct with them. This doesn’t mean they will appreciate it, but it is always what’s best even if they don’t realize it. Don’t try to cover up your weakness and inability to deal with the truth by saying you lied because you care about the other person and didn’t want to hurt them. You didn’t want to hurt yourself, and lying here just sets you up for a painfully difficult life if you can’t face reality.

Second, you can sort of hack this statistic. The reason I like the alteration to the quote from, the five people you spend the most time with. To the five people you associate with most is because I don’t believe this has to be a literal thing all the time. If you like reading books, listening to audiobooks and podcasts then there is a chance someone from your favorite show might literally be the person you associate with most even though you never truly spent a minute with them personally. So keep this in mind when reading, listening to audio, watching tv.. Whatever. Because it can work both ways.. If you spend hours a day listening to informational, encouraging stuff that helps you learn and grow then keep associating yourself with that material. But if you watch four hours of news, drama, and murder shows every day… you might want to associate with some healthier content then that.

Really look at your life, you are the average of the five people you associate with most.. You might be the average in terms of your income, your emotional state, your health, happiness, or much more..

Either way if you truly want to make changes in your life, you need to look at who you associate with most, and make changes where necessary.

Learn more on this:

Video: Tim Ferriss billboard

Video: Who are your friends?

Article: Lifehacker

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