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You Are the Average of the Five People You Spend Time With

You Are the Average of the Five People You Spend Time With

It’s a harsh truth to hear, but the reality is that people do come and go at various stages of our lives, for many different reasons. Some "seasonal" friends make a lasting impact, some teach us a lesson, and some help us grow, evolve, and become better versions of ourselves.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This relates to the law of averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes.

A person that feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.

When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced by those people around us, whether we would like to admit it or not.

Ask yourself – do you find yourself compromising just to "keep the peace?" Or, when you express your feelings, do people tell you you’re "too sensitive?" so you end up not saying anything at all? These seem like ordinary mundane things, but they are big indicators of the way the people around you affect you.

There is research now that tells us that, even though we are all authentic human beings, we are very much impacted, motivated, and driven by our environment. And, according to Rohn’s theory, the five people you spend the most time with shape who you are.

Look around you right now. How can you relate to that, and what do you see? You may interact with many individuals; they are what you call acquaintances. And then there are those who are those five people in your life that are always around.

How do they impact your thinking and decision-making? How do they elevate your thinking and performance? What changes have they brought about since you have known them? What are those quantum leaps since they have been in your life?

[Related: Why Every Solopreneuer Needs A Tribe]

Change brings opportunities.

When assessing your five people around you, be prepared for and open to the opportunity that you may need to change them and your environment to get what you want out of life. Because if you want a different type of life and you are wondering why you are just not getting there, this may be a sign that you may need to evolve and pick a new gang.

Negative naysayers, disrespectful dudes – you really need to have the courage to ditch them, because life’s too short for that kind of pessimistic energy. It holds us back, creates drama and stress, and stops us from fulfilling our purpose. You’re looking for those individuals that light you up, the ones that are going to support you and create that magic that is missing in your life.

So, how do you find them? Well, you must first know yourself. Where do you want to be? Who do you want to be? And what do you want out of life? Now check in with your average five. How are you doing?

Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing your fear to stop you from growing and evolving. So, if you are up for the challenge, it may be as simple as connecting with people that you aspire to be like, or who have the attributes that you desire.

It may even be that you join a different club or start reaching out to others and introducing yourself. The people that are meant to be on your journey will join the ride, while the others will slowly fade away.

[Related: Why Would You Want to Change?]

The people around you matter.

The number one human need is connection and belonging; people need people!

In terms of the law of averages, if someone is bringing down your average, you have to reduce their influence in your life or work. Simple as that. Not doing so may hinder your energy, vision, and ultimate success. Negative and toxic relationships can be more draining than you think.

But relationships are a two-way deal, so consider, too…what do you bring to the table? What qualities do you have? What can you contribute to uplift others? It’s important to know your own values, and to remember that you have nothing to give others, unless you are powered up yourself.

So, be true to you. Always. While it may cost you some friends and acquaintances, sometimes this is necessary so that you don’t lose yourself.

[Related: Why Self-Confidence is a Good Investment]


Catherine Plano works one-on-one with women to help them reconnect with themselves. In 2012, she launched the I AM WOMAN Project, which is now a global weekly podcast where women from all over the world share their stories.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.