You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.-Jim Rohn
We each have a group of friends, a wolf-pack that we resonate with. We tend to follow our wolf-pack of friends in every aspect of life – academic, personal, and social. We know that we like being part of that group…
Wait. But how did we end up with our respective “wolf-pack”?
This is something that caught me off-guard after high-school.
Influence and Association.
If you were to evaluate the major influences in your life that have shaped the kind of person you are, this is the top reason: the people and thoughts you choose to allow into your life.
My father gave me a very important warning in those early teenage years that I want to share with you. He said, “Never underestimate the power of your friends’ influence.”
To be honest, it took me a while to realize the true meaning of it. Indeed, the influence of those around us is so powerful. The scary part is that its subconscious. Many times we don’t even realize how we are changing our habits.
My father told me that those subtle influences need to be studied carefully if you wanted your life to turn out the way you want it to be. Reason being, you maybe in the wrong wolf-pack.
As human beings, it takes us a while to realize who we really want to be. It is in human nature to associate with like-minded individuals which makes changing one’s wolf-pack easier and harder at the same time. With regards to this important aspect, let me give you three questions that my father asked me. They may help you better analyse your current pack of friends.
1st Question: Who am I around? Take a mental note and evaluate how each and everyone around you influences you.
Do these people make you do things that you don’t really enjoy? Do truly connect with these people?
2nd Question: What are these associations doing to me? This questions will be tough to answer but isolate yourself from the world for a brief moment and answer questions like: What have they got me doing in my spare time? What have to got me listening to? What have they got me reading? How do they influence my emotions? How do they affect my self-thoughts? This should include both positive and negative points.
Final Question: Is that Okay? With answers to the first two questions, compare the answers to yourself. Maybe everyone you associate with have positive influences on you. But again, there might be a few bad apples.
Maybe you just happened to be hanging out with the same crowd since middle school and never made an effort to diversify your circle.
Action Step: Disassociate and Limit Association – If you are not with the wolf-pack that resonates with your personal goals, unfortunately, its time to disassociate or limit association. It could be a choice that preserves the quality of your life.
Action Step: Expand Your Wolf-Pack: Yes, that will mean to earn the respect of the wolf-pack you want to associate with. But the fruits of that labor will pay off. Once accepted, they will train you to be better and bigger.
It is very easy to dismiss the things that influence our lives.
Most people say,, “I hang around with them most of the time but I have different personal goals in life.”
That is wrong, we cannot shape our unconscious mind which is constantly being affected by the association and influences we encounter in life.
Remember, we are social species. We learn how to talk, walk, and eat by watching others.
As a matter of fact, 90% of our brain is unconscious brain and we control about 10% of our brain. Food for thought.
In conclusion, it is important to not look down upon or unfriend anyone. What makes humans beautiful is that we are all different. Thus, I do not expect everyone around me to be exactly like me. If that was true there would be no different between animals and humans.
The best way to put is to truly know yourself and consciously seek out people like yourself so your collective effort can leave a lasting impact behind for generations to come.
Thank you, papa. For your invaluable lessons.