“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn | Motivational Speaker
I want you to think about this quote. Who are the five people you spend the most time with? And more importantly…
Are you the average of those five?
Why This Is Important
I personally agree with this quote and I find that it’s something that most people don’t ever take into consideration.
We become like those around us. Be it family, friends, etc. We pick up things from them that you might have noticed such as mannerisms and slang, but it goes much further than that.
With that in mind, think of what type of person you want to be.
Do you want to be rich? Fit? Hard working? Disciplined?
Whatever it is you want to be, are the people you spend the most time with those things?
If you want to be hard working and disciplined for example and aren’t, are the people you’re around also not those things?
This can be a very difficult thing. We like our friends and families (usually). We spend so much time with these people but sometimes if we want to change, we have to stop spending so much time with them.
It’s no coincidence that successful talented people are surrounded by other successful talented people!
For example, if you wanted to go the gym every day, wouldn’t it be easier if you were friends with people who went to the gym every day?
If the people you currently spend most of your time with aren’t the right people for who you want to be, you’ll have to find new people.
Find New People If You Have Too
Everyone’s circumstances are different so I can’t tell you exactly how to find these new people, but I will tell you ways that I found some.
- Online – Probably the most obvious one. For me some of the friends I’ve had the longest I met online. Through making art and flash animations back in the day I found other people that were doing the same thing and formed friendships with them that have lasted for more than a decade.
- Conventions – You could probably do this by going and walking around at a convention. However, I did it by actually having a table at comic conventions. Something about being behind the table selling your work changes peoples perception of you. You come across as another professional that is motivated and hard working. I’d recommend having something to sell be it prints, commissions, or whatever it is that you do. But starting out don’t be too concerned with it being about making money, but making connections. Share your table with a friend or family that can watch it for you so you can go look around a little bit. Strike up conversations with people that also have tables that work interests you. They’ll see your exhibitor badge. If you make a good impression, maybe they’ll ask where your table is and they’ll come by. A lot of pros don’t get tables though and just attend to look around and visit friends. But if your work is good they might end up coming and talking to you! I’ve made quite a few close friends this way.
- College – If you go to college or art school, there’s going to be at least a few people who want to do the same things as you. You just have to find the ones that are going to make you better by being with them. I got very lucky and made a lot of talented hard working friends in the short time that I attended.
- Randomly – Some times you just find the right people in weird places. My brother wanted me to play a game called League of Legends with him. Back when the game was more relaxed and you could really just do whatever you wanted, I met a guy while playing. Turned out he was a talent manager for musicians that used to own his own studio that made films. One of the smartest and coolest people I’ve met. He gave me a lot of advice while starting out and even got me work a few times, and I never would have met him if it wasn’t for that awful game!
Making Real Friends Is Hard
I know having to find new friends to replace old ones sounds awful.
It isn’t easy to find new ones.
It isn’t easy to spend less time with current ones.
Feelings could get hurt. But it’s wrong to allow friends to be lobsters that drag you down to their level with their big meaty claws.
Friends can come and go, it’s important that you focus on YOU. Because people that are your friend now might not be later. And then you’re left with you.
Find the right friends. Friends that are what you want to be. By spending time with them, you’ll increase your average.