“You Are the Average of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With”


The quote comes from motivational speaker Jim Rohn, and is one I believe to be true.

The problem is, I’ve never actively sought out five people I would like to spend my time with. Not counting my family, I’m not sure how I would go about determining who those five people should be. I’m also not sure my circle of contacts is wide enough to have five people to draw from so as to create diversity among the five members. And finally, and one that makes me a little concerned, is what if the five people I would like to spend time with already have their five people, and as a result they are not interested in spending their time with me?

If I were to name five people off the top of my head I’d like to spend the most time with, it would probably be President Barack Obama, Seth Godin, Bruce Springsteen, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Bill Gates. They seem to be the type of people who would challenge me to do my best, to think about the big issues, to think about others, to work hard, and to be creative.

I realize such a group might be kind of hard to pull together or spend some time with, so then I go back to my first question, how do I decide which five people I should try to spend most of my time with? Is it work colleagues, neighbors, old friends? (I realize that if you look at the amateurish photo I put together of me and my five “power” friends, you could certainly conclude that one of the people I need to include in my circle of five would be a graphic artist…).

What brought my attention to the Jim Rohn quote was a great Ted Talk from 2012 that I watched today by Scott Dinsmore, “How to Find Work You Love“.

Dinsmore wanted to find out what is it that sets apart the people who do passionate, world-changing work, that wake up inspired every day, from the people who lead lives of quiet desperation.

Dinsmore discovered a framework of three simple things that all these passionate world-changers had in common, and summarized as follows:

  • become a  self-expert at understanding yourself; find out what our unique strengths
  • understand your values and what you care about
  • learn from your experiences; reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and what do you want to repeat, what can you apply more to my life.

Dinsmore also believes that the things that we have in our head that we think are impossible are often just milestones waiting to be accomplished if we can push those limits a bit. The key is to focus on what you can control, and to ignore those things that you cannot.

Advice that many of you have heard, but Dinsmore packages it all together in a unified, inspirational way, that I believe is well worth watching. Here is the video:

I found Dinsmore’s story so interesting that I am going to follow up with a part two to this post later this week.

In the meantime, I’ll be contacting Seth, Gary, Bill, Bruce, and Barack to see if they’d be interested in hanging out in the near future; it can’t hurt to ask…


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