Archive for August 28th, 2012

Creating Mentors Vs. Averaging Down

It has been said that you are the average of your 5 closest friends - this is a big reason why big life transformations are often accompanied by a change in friends.

To a lessor degree, the same thing applies to work - the people you work with will tend to become more like you and you will tend to become more like them.

It also applies to the gym you go to, the church you belong to, the sports team you play for, the places you shop, the school you attend, etc… - the longer you spend with people, the more similar you become to those people.

So what?

At its simplest, if you are having a crappy life, you may want to consider the company you keep. But before you completely overhaul your friends and cut off people forever, take a few minutes to uncover your own identity (how your view yourself in terms of worth and the life experience you believe you are entitled to). If you identify yourself as a loser, a drug addict, someone who has a crappy job, etc… there’s a very good chance that you’ll know a few people that match one or more of these characteristics. If you connect with a group of people that match your identify, swapping them out for a new group of people will likely only introduce you to a new group of the same. Fix your identity issue, engage a professional if you have no idea how to do that.

Assuming your identify isn’t an issue, a small change in attitude in this area can take you a very long way, and save you the challenges of finding a new peers group. The thinking here is that if you view those around you in a particular way (even if they are NOT as you view them) you will slowly start to become as you view them. Consider this for another moment. You begin to become how you think your friends are. You begin to become the same type of worker, parent, student as you believe your coworkers, spouse, and student friends to be. Reality doesn’t interfere with your notion as you become your thoughts about them.

In this case, the easiest way to progress and develop is to improve your attitude about your friends / peers / coworkers and view them as potential mentors - realize that they have something unique and important to teach you and notice that your differences are simply just differences in upbringing and experience, not flaws in personality. Adjusting your view of them in this way will create a clearing in your mind that will shift them into a place of power and helpfulness, allowing you to grow.

Remember, your mind controls the average that your friends are so flipping the switch to view your peers as amazing, outstanding and stand-up people may be what is needed to trend the average up.