Everyone has a circle of influence. That is to say, everyone has people around them who shape and influence what they think and what they do. It is a simple rule for an effective life: You are the company you keep.
An oft-used quote says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There’s also the derivative, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” For that reason, you should choose your friends carefully.
People influence people. Whether we like to admit it or not, our friends affect our way of thinking, our decisions, and our behavior patterns. We are shaped by our circle of influence. Everyone is their own person, of course, but research shows that we are more affected by our social network than we think.
One way or the other, the people you allow into your life make a difference.
- They will challenge you to become the best version of yourself or tempt you to settle for something less.
- They will raise your standards or lower your standards.
- They will push you up or pull you down.
- They will tell you what you need to hear or only what you want to hear.
- They will hold you accountable or they will allow you to make excuses.
- They will be a force for excellence in your life or a force for mediocrity.
You are influenced by the people with whom you associate. Choose wisely.