My husband and I go to the gym every morning before work. It’s a habit that took a while to develop and one that starts my day off on the right note. He usually works out in the weights area while I hit the rowing machine and the treadmill.
This morning I noticed something really interesting.
There are three women who come together most mornings. They walk on the treadmills talking for a while, catching up, and then they all put on their headphones and do a proper workout. I generally run on a treadmill beside them with my headphones on. I really admire their friendship as it encourages them to get up and go to the gym every morning at 5 am.
What I noticed today was that when I was running intervals the gym ladies were doing exactly the same workout as me, completely matching my pace as I slowed down and sped up. It wasn’t deliberate, we’d all somehow managed to synchronise our workout for about 30 minutes.
I’ve never spoken to these women but we have succeeded in averaging out our workout simply through proximity!
It reminded me of an important life lesson: You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.
The secret of course is to spend more time with people who inspire you and are achieving success in areas of their life which you value.
Let’s apply the “top five people rule” to a number of aspects of our lives shall we? What if we were the average of the top five people we spend the most time with in regards to:
- Our health and wellbeing
- Our financial success
- Our career success
- The depth of our intimate relationships
- Our success at university
How does this apply to you and the things you value in your life?
Here are three ways that you can benefit from this principle:
1. Identify the people who make you feel inspired when you spend time with them and make sure you see them more often.
I’m sure you have people in your life who you meet for a coffee, talk non-stop and leave the conversation feeling a new surge of energy to achieve your goals. Make a list of who these people are and make sure you make time in your diary to spend more time with them.
Also be aware of the people who spend the whole time complaining and putting other people down when you are with them. Negative talk can be addictive and is unhealthy. These conversations don’t inspire you, they leave you feeling uneasy and paranoid. They suck your time and energy.
Limit your time with these people and when they start complaining change the subject. Be the person who inspires them to be better.
2. Identify areas that you want to improve on and seek out events and opportunities to participate with experts in these fields
Going to the gym at 5 am every morning has been a great way for me to get healthy. It’s not just the exercise, it’s also about spending time around people who make their health a priority. I don’t even have to talk to them to learn from their technique or become inspired by their work ethic.
Where can you go to be around, converse with and learn from people who are leaders in their field and/or achieving the same goals that you have set for yourself?
3. If you don’t have access to inspiring people in your day to day life (and let’s face it you probably do) spend time with inspiring people in books, podcasts, audio programs and on YouTube.
Check out Tim Ferris’ podcast http://fourhourworkweek.com/podcast/ In each episode he de-constructs world-class performance whether by interviewing Tony Robbins, or Arnold Schwarzenegger or by discussing an essay on Stoicism.
Watch an entrepreneur like Marie Forleo on Marie TV https://www.youtube.com/user/marieforleo as she provides insights about how to be productive, grow your business and manage your relationships.
Or read Richard Branson’s biography and then follow him via his blog or on social media.
Choose your role models wisely. Be conscious about who you spend time with and the media you consume because you are choosing to either be inspired or deflated. I know which one I’d prefer.