I heard a quote today:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Think about it.
My father used to have a similar, but more annoying, saying when I was in high school:
“Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Anyway, it’s true, I think. We, as people, are highly and heavily influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. I have always believed that each relationship you have only works if you are getting something from them, as much as they are getting something from you. Unfortunately, I’ve had to end many unhealthy friendships when it occurred to me that while they were taking all they needed from me, I was getting nothing in return except the occasional headache. Over the years, I’ve grown more and more picky regarding the people I allow into my life. And frequently I’ve cut people loose, usually in terms of dating, because they just weren’t “a big enough deal.”
I’ve always felt bad for thinking that about someone. Until now.
Now I understand that wanting my partner to “be a big deal” is just weird wording for my desire to date someone who has the same level of passion and drive for life as I do. Someone who is a “big deal” will motivate and inspire the people around him to also be “a big deal.”
Granted, I already tend to put myself into the “big deal” category. I don’t say this to sound egotistical or narcissistic, but I’m proud of my accomplishments thus far in life and I have been able to overcome significant adversity, coming out on top. Life has not always been all pita and hummus for me, and I am sure the road will get bumpy again at some point. But, why on earth would I want to date someone that only feeds off of my big-deal-osity without symbiotically feeding me?
Anyway, this whole “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” thing has got me thinking.
Who do I spend the most time with? Right away, I can say that only one of my friends is on the same level of “you must do what you love in order to love life” that I am. Two of them talk about wanting that kind of life but don’t necessarily actively chase it. And the rest are young and think they’re doing what they love but really haven’t reached the point of knowing for sure yet.
Now that I’ve become aware of this, I am on a new quest to start surrounding myself with more active and passionate people. I don’t want my passion to fade and I want my zest to be constantly renewed every time I see a friend.
You know who is a living example of this kind of life? Amanda Palmer. She’s insane, but she’s such an inspiration.
In the never-ending quest to fight all signs of settling, my new goal is to only allow people with positive passion in. People who love what they do. People who see the change that is possible in their world and go after it with everything they have. People who are more like me.