“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
If today I were to ask you to name your top 5 closest friends, who would they be? Now close your eyes. Picture yourself being very successful in life in 10 years.
You are able to fulfil all your dreams and goals. Are your current top 5 friends anywhere near your ultimate goal in terms of being successful? If not, why are you spending most of your time with them?
Everyone has dreams, hopes and struggles in life. We wish to live in our dream house near the beach. Drive our dream car. Travel around the world. Sack our boss and quit the current job that is boring and takes up most of our time.
We want to escape from the rat race and achieve financial freedom. We are inspired by TV shows, movies, books that show rags to riches stories. We have seen news of people making tonnes of money doing what they love.
You are so excited and inspired that you share it with your closest freinds on your plans. Whamm! You never saw it coming. These would be the common ‘inspiring’ comments you would get if you spend time with the wrong friends in life.
- Stop dreaming
- Give up it is not going to work
- Go ahead and let’s see what happens( Hinting your future failure)
- It is too risky
- Just be grateful for what you have now and stay in your comfort zone
If they are really the right friends in your life, I believe it should sound this way
- I support you
- Be strong and don’t give up
- This sounds interesting. How do you plan to minimize your risk?
- You should go ahead with your plans. This sounds most promising than your current situation
- Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to reach the fullest potential
Importance Of Network In Daily Life
I would like to share my story so that you would be able to understand how important this is to your current and future life.
When I am making one of the biggest decisions in life to make a career switch from my military life to the private sector in 2012, I could say almost all of my ex-friends in the military told me I can’t make it out there.
Why should I risk challenging my comfort zone when I am having a stable job and also planning to settle down with my current wife? No one is supportive even my own elder brother.
Emotionally, it was devastating for me. You could have friends of 6-7 years putting you down when you require the most support.
“True friends walks in when the rest of the world has walked out.”
― Walter Winchell
Luckily, my wife supported me throughout this period of time and I am really grateful for it. It made me realize the importance of spending time with the right network in life.
My wife did ask me a question. Are you just looking for friends with benefits? I think it can be a yes or no. Yes is because I do need friends who are successful in life to support and guide me along.
No is because I still have friends who are not that successful yet but showed the desire, hunger and attitude to improve their lives.
How Do You Network In Real Life?
So at this point in time, you may have a question. How do I proceed from here? Am I supposed to start kicking out all my best friends out of my life? ROFL!! No. However there are a few pointers that you may like to follow.
80/20 rule for your phonebook
The 80/20 rule applies to almost everything in your life. For example, 80% of traffic jams happen on 20% of the roads. In a company, 80% of sales performance is contributed by 20% of the sales people.
If you like to find out more, you make like read books by Richard Koch who have wrote several strategies on how to apply the 80/20 rule.
Take a look at your contacts in your phonebook. Do you notice that only 20% of those contacts take up 80% of your time?
Map out a list from these 20% contacts and determine who do you spend most of the time with. Are these the people that could support you to improve and progress further in life or are they holding you back.
Positive and negative list for your 20%
Do up a list of how do you felt after you have spent time with these current friends. Is it positive? Do you feel motivated or gain new insights? Do you learn new things which are useful.
These are very important as sometimes when you are facing challenges in life, having the right friends would guide you on the right path. On the positive side, you could list down the friends that have all the positive attributes you are looking for.
On the negative side, list down all the friends that belongs to this category. When I first do this exercise, I realize that I have a lot of friends belonging to the negative side of things.
Spending time with them does hamper my personal development. Once you realize who are the ones holding you back, it is easy to remove them from your lives and spend more time with those on the positive side.
If you have little or no friends on the positive side list, it is time to attend more networking sessions , join like-minded people in Facebook groups or attend seminars.
Those people that attend this course are already making effort to improve themselves and change their lives. These are the people who will be able to rub their positive energy onto you.
Time management for time spent with friends
We all have the same amount of time every day 24 hours. It is vital that we always choose to spend our time with the right people in life.
On one hand, you have a friend who is always inviting you to join personal development seminars while you have another who is always suggesting you go for drinking sessions or parties.
I am not saying that you do not need any entertainment and relieve some stress but it is more about thinking and focusing in the long term.
Always ask yourself one question before making any decisions. For the decision I am making now, how is it beneficial to me in 5 to 10 years time? This question had ensured that I make great decisions and I believe it would also help you.