Who are you spending time with?

Jeremy Bhimji
Author, Speaker, Trainer, Coach

Sep 19,2016

Who are you spending your time with? Nearly everyone in the world has a group that they spend the bulk of their time with. Family, friends, coworkers, etc. Your circle of influence is so important because they basically will tell you who you are. Their thoughts will become your thoughts, their actions will become your actions. Have you ever noticed that when people hang out very often they have the same mannerisms? They talk the same, laugh the same, or even start to dress similar? Its crazy how important your relationships are to your life, yet people spend so little time analyzing them. Some people grow up on the same street as a few guys and they end up being friends for life. Or go to the same high school and that’s it. They stop growing, they stop trying to get better, and just fall into this routine that is easier to continue in than to break free. People just figure that this is it for them and start settling for what they have rather than going after what they want. I remember one of the best speakers I have ever met in my life, the great Mr. James Adlam, once said “I loved my friends, I just didn’t love them enough to stay broke with them!”
 
You need to do a full audit of the people in your life and figure out if they are weighing you down or lifting you up. So take a second, and think about the people closest to you in your life. Are they happy? Are they positive? Are they optimistic? Do they reach for their goals? Do they have integrity?
 
If your five closest friends all are really into fitness, there is a good chance that you will be too. If they all work traditional jobs, you probably will also. If they drink, you will drink. If they all go to church, so will you. If your five are all millionaires, you can pretty much bet that you will be the sixth. You get my point, I could list tons of examples and I’m sure one of them would resonate with every single person reading this. And it doesn’t have to be five necessarily. It could be three, but the same concept holds true. Spending your time with the right people is of paramount importance and one of the most essential ingredients to you leading a happy, fulfilled, and successful life in all phases of your life. If you look at some of the most successful people in the world, you will see that they only spend time with the right type of people. People who challenge them, hold them accountable, people who have high integrity, people who are driven, goal oriented, people of their word.
 
So I will ask you again, who are you spending your time with? Are they the type of people who are helping you get closer to your goals? Or are they just friends of convenience or people who have been around so long you cant even remember life without them? You need to look at every single person in your life individually and see if they are adding value or causing harm. Are you friends because you have a common future or because you have a common past? Now I’m not saying to stop talking to people who you deem to be friend of the past, that would be foolish. What I am telling you is that you might want to think about limiting the AMOUNT of time you spend with those people. While reminiscing is great, always sitting and talking about the past will not help you get to the future that you desire. I have a huge group of childhood friends that I love getting together with and talking about old times. We laugh and look back at all the crazy things we did together, but when I’m with them I feel like I’m in a time warp. None of them are growing, none of them are getting better. They are just going through the motions of life, waiting until they day that something either slaps them in the face and they make a change, or for the day that they die. I still love them, but I choose to limit the amount of time I spend with these people. Even family members who I deemed to be negative or toxic I have cut the amount of time I spend with them, no matter how close to me they are. Nothing is more important to me than my future, my mindset, my thoughts, and my actions, and I refuse to let anyone bring me back down to where I use to be. Some of the people I used to spend a lot of time with say things like “Man you have changed.” And I almost always respond by saying something like “I worked way too hard to stay the same!”

One of the hardest part of your journey is the realization that you are going to have to let some people go. As you grow some of the people closest to you might even talk bad about you behind your back. They might not support you in your new venture. They might try and talk you out of what you are doing, saying things like “I don’t think this is a good idea” I’m not really sure why people do those things. Maybe its because the fact that you are growing makes them feel worse about staying the same. Maybe that if they can drag you back down to their level, their life will stay comfortable. That is not up to you to try and figure out, just realize that your associations will be the thing that lifts you to the heights you wish to achieve, or the anchor that weighs you down to the bottom of the pit of despair, where dreams, goals and ambition go to die.  Like I said earlier, just because you and someone have a common past, does not mean you have a common future.

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