Quick: write down the names of the 5 people you spend the most time with, and then write down the qualities–good and bad–that you associate with them.
Does this strike you as a great list of people? Do you feel good when you’re around them? Do they inspire you and challenge you to be the best version of yourself? Do they lift you up and support you?
You need to take stock of your top five people regularly, because guess what:
You become an average of these five people, over time. Meaning that you take on their qualities, for better or worse. If you’re constantly in the company of petty, negative, mean-spirited, cheap, or unhealthy people, you’re asking to adopt those characteristics.
It’s human nature to mirror those we spend the most time with, as a caveman-era survival mechanism: if I’m like you, you’ll relate to me and not want to stab me with your spear and take my mate or my woolly mammoth meal. This is why so many people find themselves succumbing to office gossip and backstabbing when they’ve been at a company for a little while, and seen how they’re accepted by the group if they play office politics.
On the other hand, this tendency to mirror others is great if the people around us are kind, generous, creative, financially stable, confident and positive–we’ll strive to embody these qualities as well.
If you’re having a hard time starting a business or improving the one you’ve got, (or really, accomplishing anything you want to do in your life) you really need to consider bringing new people into your life who can help you get there. Not necessarily because they’ll do favours for you so you can get ahead, or tell you what to do, but because the presence of positive, can-do people who want to see you succeed can make all the difference in the world.
I’m not suggesting you immediately cut negative friends and family out of your life. Just keep this in mind:
You can always choose who you spend the most time with. If you don’t have anyone in your life who you really admire, with qualities you’d like to claim for yourself, it’s time to start looking for those people!