It has been said that you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So think about that. You are the average. This means some people are high frequency and others are low frequency and you are in between. You take in the characteristics, behaviors and choices of your friends. This is not to say they are actively pressuring you to do so, but this happens both consciously and subconsciously.
There’s a book by Walter C. Willer called Thinfluence: Thin-flu-ence (noun) the powerful and surprising effect friends, family, work, and environment have on weight. The subtitle basically says it all. Want to lose weight? Hang around people who are in shape. Want to be successful? Hang around people who are.
At times we get distracted. Our goal is to save money and our friend says, “hey girl, BBD going on tour.” And you think, “Omg I love BBD. That New Edition Movie had me hype. I HAVE TO GO TO THIS!” So you drop that $100 on the ticket then you spend the rest of your work day shopping online for the perfect outfit. You call your hairdresser and make an appointment. And already you’ve gone from 2017 will be the year I save and invest to where did that $500 go?
Maybe you’re starting a business which requires research, creating content, scheduling social media posts, sketching designs, etc. So you’ve set aside time to do just that. Then your cell phone rings. “Hey, wyd?” Your gut reaction is to say “nothing”. But of course, you’re doing something; something really important to you and for your future. Now the caller/texter on the other side of the phone has the green light to GO IN and that they do. Hours later you’re staring at your computer screen with nothing done and now, Scandal is on so this will have to wait until tomorrow to finish this very important work task. Where did the time go? I need more than 24 hours in a day, you say.
I give those examples because they are common. The prople we love want our time and rightly so. But do y’all want these goals or nah? It’s not fool proof but, the more we can align ourselves with people who have what we want or on the path to getting where we’re trying to go, the easier and quicker our success will come. This means finding people who VALUE what you value.
I recently stopped eating pork. And even though my mother says she understands she truly doesn’t get why is so such a thing. What did pork ever do to me? So when I tell her I don’t eat pork, it doesn’t change the fact that she’s put on a roast for Sunday and invited me over. Does that make sense? If it is something I value, it’s up to me to make the decision not to indulge. Likewise, you’ve expressed to friends and family that you are committed to losing weight and are on a strict diet. This will not stop them from inviting you to Applebee’s on a Friday night. It’s your value not theirs. Just like a friend of yours may value going to church everyday whereas for you, listening to Kirk Franklin on the way to brunch is enough.
Just because your values are different doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. But you should stick closest to those who share your values so that they may, in the words of Oprah, life you higher.
So where do you find such people? How do you identify your tribe?
Here are a couple different ways
1. Read.My search for positive influence came through reading. I started reading books by people I admired. Reading books always connects you to other books and other authors which “influences” who I follow on social media, what I watch on YouTube, etc.
2. Ask. Create a post on social media that says. “I’m looking to connect with people who ________ Please tag who you know.” Believe it or not, your current network can help you expand and/or strengthen your new network.
3. Meetup.com There are thousands of groups listed for whatever you’re into. I’ve found, that the paid groups are more serious and meet more consistently. I’ve joined book clubs, running clubs, parenting meet ups, etc on this platform. At one point I even created a group of my mom for mothers who were also entrepreneurs.
4. Work. If you want to be a boss one day, hang out with other bosses. Perhaps, your current boss. Go the extra mile, attend conferences and company events. Network with the higher ups and learn. Let them know your goals. They may be willing to help, mentor or provide you with resources.
LAST POINT. Remember that while people are constantly influencing you and your life, you’re giving out your energy to others. Are you a positive or negative influence in the life of others’? What type of impression are you looking to leave? What small thing can you do to affect someone’s life in a meaningful way.