Your Friends Make or Break You; Choose Wisely

Author and critically acclaimed speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You become like the five people you spend the most time with.” His theory was verified by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland, whose research constructed the compound effect. The compound effect states, “the people you habitually associate with determine as much as 95 percent of your successes or failures in life”.


Whoa, that’s intense.


The truth of the matter is, whether you notice it or not, the people around you play a significant role when it comes to us making decisions, staying on track, and maintaining the motivation to achieve our goals. Having said that, the average American spends a majority of their time at work or home. When they are not at work or home, you can typically find most people at a variety of social hubs, including the movies, park, or nightclubs. From that, it can be determined that we have three specific groups of people that we interact with daily:

  1.   Our partners and immediate family members (ex. kids)
  2.   Coworkers
  3.   Friends and extended family members


Being that these three groups occupy a majority of our time, we must ask ourselves if we are growing or shrinking as a result of engaging with these individuals?


Are they pushing/challenging you? 


Do they believe in your potential? 


Perhaps even see more in you than you believe of yourself? 


Are they providing us with the resources we need to achieve our dreams?


Are they keeping us in check and serving as sounding boards for when we need to expand on ideas?


The answers to these questions are essential because they help us differentiate between the individuals who are positively contributing to our lives versus ones that are draining us of our time and energy.


Customarily, Monday mornings mark the beginning of the workweek. Every week, millions of Americans crawl out of bed and head to their places of employment where they get to engage with professional colleagues at all different levels. Selecting an office group can be tricky. While the office setting does not necessarily promote deep personal friendships, it does encourage productive work relationships.


It starts in the office. 


Establishing an office group implies selecting individuals with like-minded goals and ambitions as you. If you want to take your career to the next level, one of the best ways to start is by interacting with people who are looking to do the same thing. Since their goals are to move up the ladder as well, you all can lean on each other to produce quality work and most efficient selves. It becomes like a healthy competition seeing who can efficiently push out the most work, earn promotions, and consistently land the big deals.


Taking it a step further, even better than associating with like-minded peers at the same level as you professionally, if you want to be the boss hang out with the boss. The best thing about these types of relationships are that you are in a constant state of learning. Older and more established mentors are more than just people that push you to do your best; their mere presence paints a picture of what your future could look like.


After work, the next place you will find people at is lounging in their homes. A home is typically a safe place where individuals return to unwind from the stresses of the day. Going home is not only supposed to represent a time of rest, relaxation, and reflection.


And how about that love life?


A lot happens during the day, so when you come home, you may need someone to talk to. Reflection is key to progress. Supportive partners serve as great sounding boards for ideas that you might’ve constructed during the day, talking through various work issues, and reestablishing your confidence after a hard workday. They help you set your priorities straight because with them you can be your most authentic self. Having the right partner can be the difference between returning to a chaotic or peaceful environment. Some well-known examples of partners who have encouraged each other to be their best selves include Will and Jada Smith and Bill and Melinda Gates.


Collectively worth $280 million, Will and Jada Smith are a powerhouse couple in the entertainment industry. In the past, Jada has said, “Will and I are yin and yang. He’s all sky, vast, and bright and soaring, and I’m all earth. I’m here to ground him, and he’s here to help me fly.” Throughout their marriage, they both have encouraged each other to pursue diverse acting roles and take risks that they normally would not have.


Besides Will and Jada Smith, Bill and Melinda Gates are also an admirable couple to look up to. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has assets of  $40.3 billion and has given much away since 2000. Melinda encourages Bill to invest in philanthropic causes that have given back to countless people.


The moral of the story is, the right partner can take you to new levels.


Possibly most important…your friends. 


The friends that you choose to spend your free time with are especially important. 

Having a balanced mixture of similarities and diversity amongst group members is vital. On one end, you should strive to associate with like-minded individuals who share common goals. On the other hand, selecting individuals with a wide array of perspectives and strengths will help you develop into the person you long to be. When choosing the appropriate friend group make sure they have what you want. 


Do they have a result you deem desirable?


Do they have a perspective you’d like to understand?


Does their thought process stretch you?


Evaluate if they are adding value to you and contributing worthwhile resources to help you reach your overall goals. 


What do you do if you have the wrong ones?



Anything is possible with the right group. A healthy circle can empower you to reach new levels in all aspects of your life. Not only can they help you from going down the wrong path, but their support brings life to your goals and dreams.

Imagine yourself as a plane. By incorporating the right people in your world, you give yourself additional support to reach new targets and soar high above the clouds. Conversely, the wrong crowd can weigh you down and cause you to crash badly.

In life and business, it takes a team to bring BIG visions to life. Make sure you pick the right one. 

Brock Laramee

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