“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” a pretty well-known saying from motivational speaker Jim Rohn. A phrase that makes you take a moment to ask yourself- Am I really the average of the five people I hang out with?
Before you answer that question, you might want to take a closer look at the people you spend the most time with now and how they could be affecting your life. It might feel disjointed or confusing because you are an individual making your own choices.
Let’s put some context around Rohn’s theory by remembering when we were forced into a “pod” or “bubble” during the pandemic. The people you spent the most time with or were surrounded by became your source of support, stimulation of intellect, and entertainment. You probably were immersed and in-tuned to each other’s likes and dislikes and did things together.
Good or bad actions, there was just no way around it- they were your bubble, they made an impact in your life. You most likely picked up on some new ideas, habits, or rituals from the closest people around you. You became the average of the five.
So, now that I have given you some relatable context to this quote, let’s take a closer look at the closest people in your life. How they can make an impression, and who you’re choosing to be a part of this group.
But first, let’s dive a little deeper into the meaning behind “You are the average of the five people you spend time with the most.”
You Are the Average of Five- What Does This Quote Mean?
In general, Jim Rohn spoke to the law of averages, meaning the time you spend with a particular group of people will result in an average outcome from your time spent together.
So, in theory, if the five closest people like to always get high, then you are more likely to as well. Or, on the flip side, if your inner circle doesn’t have smoking weed high on their list but is more interested in other activities or proactively pursuing their next goal, then you will most likely have or want similar goals too.
In either scenario, consciously or subconsciously, your thoughts may equate to “don’t get left behind” or “stay with the pack,” that’s just fundamental human nature playing out in our everyday lives.
Why Does it Matter Who I Spend the Most Time With?
I interpret this quote by how the closest people surrounding you can influence and shape how you think, behave, and act. But I want to add a big asterisk to the end of that sentence by adding- to a certain degree.
We all have our own consciousness and ability to make decisions, but we are also humans who can be persuaded or influenced, especially by people closest to us.
So, depending on your expectations of how you want your life to unfold or how you want to show up in this world, who you choose to spend time with can significantly impact how your life plays out.
Taking a Closer Look- The Sum of Five
If you take a moment to think about the last couple of years, would you say, as a whole, the people closest to you have progressively experienced personal or professional growth? To bring this answer into clear focus, I share five essential questions to ask yourself to help determine a form of clarity of the people closest in your life.
Ask yourself these essential questions about the five closest people you spend the most time with.
Do they have a positive mindset?
Would they pick comfort overgrowth?
Do they inspire you to raise your brilliance?
Do you admire and respect their actions?
Do your goals about life run perpendicular to one another?
Your answers will help identify the people you may want to spend more time with or need to spend less time with.
What if the Sum of Five Doesn’t Align With Me or My Future?
It’s essential to align with the people around you to provide support and motivation that runs perpendicular to whatever stage or goal you want to achieve next in your life. But this doesn’t require you to completely cut off or drop those who aren’t entirely moving in the same direction as you. It’s about re-allocating your time and shifting your priorities with whom you want to spend time.
But if spending less time with a particular person may cause an issue or confusion for them, you will most likely need to have an honest conversation.
Share with them the direction you want to take for your future, your newfound priorities, and your excitement for growth. Ask them if they have the same aspirations and could you support one another.
How they reply to your request will reveal if your “pod” stays connected or if it’s time to break the link.
Looking to spend your time around people who are all working towards the next goals in life? Check out the “Better Yourself” community on Discord.
The Final Takeaway- Are you the Average of the Five People Around You?
The five closest people you spend the most time with can influence how you think, act, and behave- ultimately shaping your life. Your sum of five could have a positive or negative impact on your life, and you are the gatekeeper to who you invite into your inner circle.
I hope asking yourself these five essential questions has helped clarify who you want to spend time with- for the next phase or chapter in your life.
I answer questions from our TikTok and Discord communities about making and meeting new friends in this quick video. Want to hear the answers? Click on the link below.