In the book “Connected” by Nicholas Christakis, Christakis reveals study after study that explains how even weak social ties, even people you don’t even know, can drastically influence your behavior.
So it’s not that surprising that our closest friends can heavily impact our level of success.
A Story of Behavioral Change
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn
I first heard this quote at a conference when I was in my early 20s.
At that point I had studied time management to help build my first business and get through my MBA, but I hadn’t really gotten into behavioral change and psychology too much yet.
I still had a lot of limiting beliefs that I was fighting and negative influences in my life.
But when I heard that quote I and began to think about where I was at the time (in a room half-full of millionaire internet marketers) it really started to make a lot of sense.
From that point in my life I really started to apply it, and it’s been one of the most powerful changes in my life and my behavior to date.
The beauty about this change is that it happens on a subconscious level. It’s a way to make a change without really having to stress yourself out every day about making a change.
Watch This Video
The following is a video from my personal productivity course. It tells the story of how I implemented this strategy into my own life, and goes into detail about how you can start doing the same, without a whole lot of work.
I’m not really one to provide “magic bullet” commodity type strategies, but if you had room for only one change into your life this year, this would be it.
Fill Your Lack of Positive Influences
I’m fortunate and gracious to be surrounded by a pretty supportive group of individuals who believe in what I do – and that’s big – but not everyone is so lucky.
The lack of positive influences in your life can be nearly as damaging as negative influences.
Without people to inspire you and help drive you towards your goals, without people to show you that you really can accomplish what you seek to accomplish, without successful people to look up to you and mentor you, you may have trouble truly believing in yourself and striving forward every day.
You may not be able to dream as big as you would be able to otherwise. That’s what is so powerful about a positive support group. They help you believe in yourself like you never could on your own.
Identifying a Positive Influence
Seek out positive influences in your life who will say things like “Wow! Good for you,” “That’s awesome,” and “That’s a great idea” when you tell them about your dreams and goals.
Seek out those people who are interested in what you have to say and can understand the passion that drives you.
Tell any one of these people about your idea and you will hear amazing praise and encouragement. You will never hear anyone tell you that your idea is silly, you are wasting your time, or make fun of you for what you are doing.
Those are the people you want to start to phase out, or at least spend less time with.
Your 60 Second Call to Action
First, think about those people in your life who inspire and support you. Think about the positive influences who have never doubted your dreams. Think about those who have done great things, or are currently doing great things of their own. Think about those people who you aspire to be like.
You should have some faces coming to mind right now.
Now I want you to make a list. Write down at least three people who you consider to be successful like-minded individuals, who can positively influence your life.
- They can be family members
- They can be friends
- They can be coaches
- They can be professors
- They can be community leaders
- They can be online influences (feel free to list me)
- They can be anyone you want, as long as they are able to positively influence you in some way towards your goals.
Now write down how you can connect with these people on some level and begin to be more open to their presence in your life.
Don’t be a desperate creepo. Be genuine. Make sure the relationship is mutually beneficial, and be very gracious of their time.