You’ve probably heard the famous quote by Jim Rohn that says, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And when it comes to your professional success, this statement can certainly hold true. The people we surround ourselves with matter. They can impact the ways in which we view our work, the goals we set for ourselves, and our willingness to put in the effort to get where we want to go. While some people may passively spend their time with whoever is nearby, the most successful professionals actively seek out the people around them. Who do you spend the most time with? And do they support your success? Here are some key areas to consider:
The people who you spend the most time with, are they positive and optimistic? Or are they negative? Are they grateful, or are they always complaining? Though attitudes may seem general, they permeate so many aspects of our work lives — everything from how we plan our days to how we respond to challenges. And attitudes tend to be contagious. When you spend your time with people who regularly find something to be unhappy about, you may find yourself unhappy more often. On the flip side, when you spend your time with people who know how to see the positives, staying optimistic is often a bit easier.
How do the people you spend your time with feel about their work? Have they settled? Gotten complacent? Are they going through the motions? Or are they engaged by their work? Eager to learn? Purposeful? These mindsets will influence your mindsets, so it’s important to pay attention to them. When we surround ourselves with people who are driven to grow in their careers, focused on self-improvement, and committed to achievement, we’re encouraging our own mindsets to take a similar shape.
If the people you spend time with don’t inspire you, it might be time to add some new connections to your circle. Inspiration is valuable fuel. Sure, we have some level of intrinsic motivation, and we can source motivation from different things like books and blogs, but we don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be inspired by those around us. Whether it’s coworkers, friends, or family, when you surround yourself with people who are striving towards their goals, who are making progress, and who are excited by their potential, it’s a recipe for inspiration.
Like-minded people are going to support your goals and help keep you accountable. If you want to grow and improve, achieve new goals, and find purpose in your work, surrounding yourself with people who understand these desires is key. When you tap into a network of individuals who understand the challenge of an ambitious goal and the dedication it will take to achieve it, you access a foundation that will support your growth.
Take a moment to look around you. Who are the five people you spend the most time with? And how are they impacting your success? This exercise isn’t about blame or cutting people out of our lives. Instead, it’s about actively choosing to surround ourselves with positive, motivated individuals who understand our dedication to growth.