Influence is two things…
“First, influence is powerful. And second, it is subtle.” That’s what my mentor, Jim Rohn, said. I wholeheartedly agree.
Take a look around. At every moment we are both influencing, and being influenced by, the people around us.
One only has to look at high school to see its powerful effect.
You’ve got the jocks, the nerds, the skaters, the wild ones, the in-betweeners, the cheerleaders…we gravitate toward that group with which we feel the most affinity.
Gravity is a key word to keep in mind when discussing of the power of influence.
Each group, as does each person, has a certain amount of pull (or push) on us…and could very possibly have a profound effect on us.
Looking back at my own high school life, it didn’t start off all that good.
I had just moved to a new school and city and while I had some good friends, something was missing and even my parents knew it. I had been uprooted for the second time in my life but this time was tougher as I had just started to become accepted in my previous school. They never said anything but I guess I wasn’t me.
Enter Arthur. A guy who at first I felt was full of himself and could be pretty annoying.
When we first met all he wanted to do was party, while I preferred to chill at home. I envied his popularity both with the cool kids, and even more so with the ladies. Yes, I suppose you could say I was jealous.
9th grade came and went, we share a few laughs here and there but I could never have expected what happened the following year.
To my amazement, while we only had history together our freshman year…in 10th grade we had an amazing 5 out of 7 classes together. I suppose fate had something in store for us, so when a seat opened up behind him in English class I asked my teacher if I could move there, as I didn’t want to linger in purgatory at the back of the class, thankfully he agreed. Little did I know just how much my life would change.
I figured that I might as well get to know him as we had so many classes together.
It didn’t take long for me to realize I had totally misjudged him.
He was warm, funny, talkative and again, as fate would have it, lived just 5 minutes up the road.
What I did realize though was I didn’t get along with his friend, Michael. The two of them had been inseparable the previous year. And his influence had been felt.
10th grade was a different story. It was Arthur and Adrian. The Batman and Robin combination and everyone knew it.
Most people even mistook us as being brothers, that’s how much time we spent together.
It would be an understatement to say that Arthur and I became good friends…we became the best of friends.
We went drinking together, played video games together, watched movies, laughed and talked.
Suddenly Bangkok (where I spent my high school days) was fun. Life was good. And Adrian was back.
My parents loved Arthur like a son and I loved him like the brother I never had.
He changed me in no small way, and I like to think I changed him, too.
We brought out the best in one another which is why we never miss the chance to meet up even 20 years after our graduation.
Yes, influence is powerful.
Not a day goes by that I don’t thank Arthur for being a big part of making me who I am today.
Thank you Arthur, if you’re reading this.
Which brings me to the title of today’s post, “We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.” Another of Jim’s quotes.
People influence us, and we in turn them, which is why we must make sure they are pulling us in the direction we want to go.
Today I am very careful who I spend my time with.
I love my friends but we all have different goals; mine is to be a millionaire. As such, I want to spend time with millionaires. Only one problem – I don’t know that many millionaires around me.
So what can I do to remedy this?
Easy – I read, listen to and watch the smartest leaders, marketers, self-help gurus and time management experts.
Each of the people I choose to listen to has made a fortune in their own industry. From finance to health and diet I soak it all in.
3 hours a day I choose to spend studying not simply to get ideas to succeed, for my financial seminar (just updated) or write this blog but to be influenced. To think like they do.
I do believe that no truer words have ever been spoken than, “Birds of a feather, flock together.”
In a few years time, I believe that will be true for me as well.
It is your choice which flock to fly with.
And your choice alone.