It was Jim Rohn, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, who famously said that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” But what exactly does this mean, and what can we do about it?
Evidence Around Us
As a general rule, Jim Rohn’s quote is used in the context of business or career success. However, I believe this also applies to every aspect of our lives, ranging from relationships to body image, from our educational achievements to our fitness goals, from our parenting abilities to our spiritual aspirations, and everything in between.
Whatever goal you would like to achieve, just take a look at the people who are closest to you. If you would like a wonderful personal relationship, you will be more successful if those around you are in good relationships. If you (subconsciously) wish to be a victim, then chances are there will be victims in your immediate circles. You will increase your odds of success with your weight loss goals if your closest circle includes those who are already slim, or those who have the same goal as you.
The fact is we frequently set our success bar according to the success of those around us. It is all too easy to make excuses based on what we think is the norm. So in the aging process, we tend to slow down at the same rate as our peers, for isn’t that the normal thing to do? Or in relationships, “doesn’t everyone get tired of their partners at some time or another?” In our careers, “doesn’t everyone take a sick day when they just need some time off . . . or to recover from a hang over?”
In Eldon’s New York Times best-selling book, Choices and Illusions, he talks about ‘bad luck cookie collectors.’ These are groups of people who get together to complain about the same things and compete to see who has it worse. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, everyone competes for the group sympathy by expressing how they have it worse. And all of this kind of thinking will hold you back from achieving, or even creating, goals that will make a real difference in your life.
Oftentimes though we cannot, or choose not to, change the people we associate with. So is there anything else that we can do to keep from limiting our success?
Change Your Mental Group
As most of you know, I took up running a few years ago. When I started, I had problems even running for the 1 and 2-minute intervals, but last year I managed my first half marathon. This year I am training for a full marathon and I was feeling pretty good about it. I am 55 years young and am more active than the vast majority of my peer group. That sounds like success, right? Simply completing a marathon is the only goal I need to think about, especially for my first attempt . . . isn’t it?
Recently I was online, researching the different marathons and trying to decide which one(s) to register for. In the process, I found the page on the times for everyone who had participated in the Spokane marathon last year. Included in this information were the ages of the participants and the times they achieved. I found a number of participants in my age group and older, for whom this was their first race—and many of them had significantly better times than the goal I had already set for myself. I immediately started to think in a different order.
The next time I went running, I no longer had the headset of being top of my group. My mental circle of friends had changed and I no longer felt as though I should hold myself back, take it slow, be super careful, etc. Now of course, this did not mean that I stopped listening to my body and being smart about what I did. It only meant that I stopped putting a cap on my success. As a result my speed increased, as did the joy I felt running. I came home and told Eldon what a great run it was and how I felt like I was flying. I also stopped choosing the easier routes that avoided the harder hills, and instead I became the woman who hunts hills! I did not change the people I associated with in the real world, but I changed my mental group.
The Personal Empowerment Group
Now, if you are reading this newsletter, you are obviously already interested in self-improvement and personal empowerment, but which sub-group are you in? Did you come to InnerTalk searching for help with one particular goal, and now find yourself sitting happy with your achievements? Have you achieved success in one area and are now toying with what other areas you care about? Or are you in the elite group who constantly looks at ways to improve their lives and fly higher and higher? Are you part of the crowd or are you your own Jonathan Livingston Seagull? How much more can you really achieve—in your personal life, with your personal relationships, in your spiritual aspirations, in your career, etc.? The fact is you can only fly as high as you dare . . . so I dare you to fly higher. Explore the line of patented and proven InnerTalk programs, change your mental group, and soar free!
Wishing you Love, Light, and Laughter, always!
P.S. If you enjoy these newsletters, please remember to share them with your friends and family. There are easy share buttons at the top of this newsletter. Please also be sure to friend me and Eldon on Facebook as we both love interacting with you all. You can also read (and subscribe to) Eldon’s regular blog here.