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  • Heather Davis

Your Friends are Your Future – Choose Wisely

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Study after study confirms how seriously we are influenced by the people around us.

So powerful the impact in fact, that our friends and family actually determine who we become and what we view as possible for our life.

The habits of our peeps become our habits; their tastes and preferences rub off on us. From our moods and how we care for ourselves (or not) to how we manage our money, perform in school, drink or use drugs or whether we perform criminal acts - all have been shown to be influenced by the people we choose as friends.

Whether positive or negative, people are contagious.

Our chosen friends and partners also affect how we feel about ourselves and our potential. Known as the Michelangelo Effect, if those around us interact with us positively and in ways that support who we want to be, we tend to become that ideal.

Like teachers that expect students to achieve, “behavioral confirmation” leads to the qualities and behaviors that elicit that result. On the other hand, if we spend time around people that treat us badly or expect us to fail, we can begin to believe someone else’s limited opinion of what we deserve and are capable of.

Because of this powerful influence, one of the smartest things we can do for ourselves is to be discriminating about who we allow in our life.

Jim Rohn made it crystal clear when he said: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most amount of time with.” Who are your 5? Considering your goals, are those the five that will help get you there? Or are there one or two slots that can use an upgrade?

While social networks have both expanded and bastardized the definition of a friend, the sentiment stands. Who has your focus? If weekdays are spent watching people who have questions about a baby's paternity fight on a stage, then those are your friends too.

Having people-standards can make a big difference for our own future and success. When we lower our people-standards and spend time with people who don’t contribute or who take advantage, it says a lot about what we think of our self and what we believe we deserve.

We’ve probably all heard the quote attributed to Confucius: “If you’re the smartest one in the room, you’re in the wrong room”. Look around. Are the people in your crew going places? Or are they on the same couch, talking about the same thing again this year?

If we're surrounded by people going nowhere, we might be headed in that direction as well. Who exactly are we going to learn and grow from? Homie over there? Maybe not.

light bulbs - Urban Natural Designs blog you are the company you keep

The blind cannot lead the blind

Don’t do what unsuccessful people do.” – Tony Robbins

Could that be any simpler?

It helps to learn from people who have already been successful at what you want to know or do. Many people talk about knowing things and talk about doing things. Some people talk a lot. People who haven’t done it can’t mentor you. Is this person’s situation even any better than yours?

When your word has been proven by your accomplishments, you have earned the right to be heard…– T.D. Jakes