• Joseph

you are the average of the 5 people you associate with the most

I don’t know what want to do in life, but there is a factor that largely impacts everything you do, your energy, growth and happiness. We are the average of the 5 people we associate with the most.

Hang out with people who are crazy positive about things in life, I bet you will tend to see the world as a place full of opportunities. Hang out with a group of negative, depressed individuals, and you know what is bound to happen.

One of my closest friends happens to be a well-known tattoo artist. In many ways, he can be regarded as extremely successful: he is a rising star, he travels, does every day what he loves and gets a ton of money and social currency for doing it. One day we were having dinner together and I was raving about my life and all the amazing things that were happening. He asked me how I could be so happy and confessed he felt he was on the brink of depression. He admitted things were going better than ever with work, relationships, fun etc, however, he had a strong irrational fear and it was like he could not see the light and the purpose in anything.

The conversation went on for some time until I asked “Well, who are you hanging out with? Do they feel the same ?”. His face looked surprised. He told me that his closest friends at the time were pretty much all depressed and without any better future perspective. He mentioned a few of them were feeling like doomed and were often falling into auto-destructive habits. I asked him “Right, what do you guys talk about when you meet? Do you ever chat about something constructive or is always about negative things that happen or can happen?”. He stopped eating and I could almost see the light bulb lighting up in his head. He had gotten where I was going: he was investing all his time with very negative people, talking only about negative shit.

Why people you associate with affect you so massively? Three main reasons:

1) Your mind ‘sees’ what you feed it, and can’t produce something different. Show it only negativity, and you will get only negativity. Ever watched a horror movie that left you fears for days? Your mind was ‘polluted’. Show it constructive stuff instead, and you will get great things in return!

2) You get energy from people and conversations, so if the energy is negative or simply not right for you, you will get permeated by this. There are people who constantly push you down, laugh at stuff you do or want to do, and show no support but try in every way to hold you back. These are people who block you. There are others that give you so much good energy that you feel inspired, supported and uplifted every time you have a chat with them. These are the people that make you feel good and grow

3) Opportunities multiply when you are with the right people. The right people for you, not only inspire you and challenge you to be a better version of yourself, but they are also crucial in the way you develop and find your way. You help them and they help you in an endless cycle of mutual support

I am not arguing you should ditch your friends and people you love if they are negative, but consider limiting your exposure to their influence, at least temporarily. Once you get surrounded by positive presences, it’s great if you can tend a rope to another person who has a negative mindset. This may help them a lot.

Pick people who inspire you and make you feel great every day. Let this environment shape who you want to become. And once you are sailing on the ship, tend the rope to who needs help.

A few days ago, I had two late night meetings with two friends and we discussed projects and all the challenges that we are facing. I was very tired on both the occasions and before the meetings I only wanted to go sleep. But after the conversations, I was inspired and electrified, completely forgot about the tiredness and my only desire was to get on to work with these people the day after.

I will borrow an anecdote from Jason Capital, describing what happens when you are actually surrounding yourself with people who hold you back. A guy goes to holiday in a tropical country, and while walking on a pier, he stops next to a fisherman who has a bucket full of crabs. The bucket is shaking because one crab has climbed to the edge of the bucket, and almost broke free. The guy quickly alerts the fisherman that the crab is about to go. The fisherman doesn’t move at all. Staying still and focused on his current fishing, he turns to the guy and says: “Don’t worry my friend, look what happens next”. In a moment all the other crabs who are still at the bottom of the bucket, grab the fugitive and drag him back, slashing the attempt to freedom.

And here is the thing, no matter what you do, think, believe in, if you are surrounded by people who pull you down every step forward means 1,2,3 or more steps back.

But if you surround yourself with people who support you, inspire you and are where you want to be, you become unstoppable.

This is called 'law of environmental exposure'. Who have you picked for yourself?

With love,


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Article on Jim Rohn on the law of average https://www.businessinsider.com/jim-rohn-youre-the-average-of-the-five-people-you-spend-the-most-time-with-2012-7?IR=T (He is the guy who said ‘we are the average of the 5 people we associate with the most’)

Tim Ferris take on this and how this impacted his life http://uk.businessinsider.com/tim-ferriss-average-of-five-people-2017-1 (for a living, this guy interviews amazing people in every field to distill what makes them thick, a must follow if you want some inspiration!)

Challenge: Remove mental crabs and create an environment that supports you

1) Sit down and write down all the people you associate with the most. They can also be people you never met in person or who don’t know you, for instance famous examples, online mentors, role models or fictional heroes

2) Create two columns titled ‘energizers’ and ‘blockers’. For each person, mark the column where they belong and write 1-3 words about what these people bring to your life

3) Are there people who are constantly taking you down whenever you speak about your goals and vision? How does that make you feel even now if you think about that? Even now that they are not here, you are likely to remember and feel that person's voice taking you down. Right, that's a crab! Sadly, it may be that the crab is your family or someone you love. Remember, you do not need to get rid of them completely, but be aware of the influence they have on you and think whether you should re-adjust your exposure

4) Are there people who spark so many good feelings even when you write their names? Do whatever you can to spend more time with them. Trust me, the effect is immediate

I can guarantee you, this will make a tremendous impact on your life and mindset.

And things to remember…

⁃ Some people are not bad, but they just may be not right for you for whatever reason. You don’t need to ditch these people completely, but understanding how to change your exposure toward people who are good for you is like taking care of the engine of your life the right way

⁃ Surround yourself with good people for you and you’ll smash it! And you will soon be able to try to inspire others who are in a negative cycle

⁃ It won’t be perfect overnight and it’s ok to be bad until you are good

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