Where you focus most of your energy is where you’ll see most of your return. You must learn to sow where you want to go. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. All true statements. I doubt you’ll push back against those much. But, I would wager that you may push back against the implications those statements carry for you. Easier said than done, right?
Let’s re-focus. We’re talking about you. You’re a leader. You’re a dreamer. You’ve got a picture, in your mind’s eye, of a preferred future. So, that leaves you with a big decision to make. Who are the people you will invite into your life and who are the people you may need to give limited access to? More than any other single factor, the people you choose to spend most of your time with will affect your current and future success, or lack thereof. The rubber now meets the road. What does this mean for you? Well, it means just what you may suspect, or even fear, it means. You must get strategic about the relationships in your life. Let me suggest three great questions you can use as a filter to be that strategic person you so badly want to be.
1. Who are the current people in my life who are helping move my dream forward? Your life consists of many relationships, but they are not all created equally. If you’re moving toward that dream or desire in your life, you must become discerning about which relationships are moving you in the right direction and which ones are not. The good news is that you probably already have some people in your life who are helping move your dream forward. Take a mental inventory of your relationships. Who is excited about your dreams? Who believes in you? Who is a step or two ahead of you on a similar path? These are the questions you can ask to figure out who may already be in your life that you may want to lean into more, as time goes on.
2. Are there relationships I have that need to be pulled back or stopped? Doesn’t this hurt, just thinking about it? I would think there are pretty good odds that a person or two just popped into your mind the instant you read this question. Just like you need to identify and lean into those who believe in you and are going the direction you want to go; you also must identify and pull away from those who are moving in the opposite direction. Some of these might be easy to pull away from, but the closer these relationships are, the more delicate and potentially awkward these moves will be. I would encourage you to get some perspective from someone you trust on this before you pull away or shut down any long-standing or close relationships. It’s ok to move slowly and carefully, but you must move deliberately.
3. Are there relationships that need to be cultivated? In #1 above, I mentioned identifying and leaning into key relationships. Cultivating is a step above. More than just leaning into the right relationships, you must identify new ones and learn to add value. The more you get into relationships with people who are going places, the more discerning those people will be about who they spend their time with. It’s not enough for you to just ask to spend time with people a step ahead of you. As you get that time with them, you must add value to the relationship. Any relationship is a two-way street and if all the energy is coming your way, it won’t be long until your new friend identifies YOU as someone in the #2 category above. Cultivation is all about adding value.
So, if you really are the average of the five people you spend the most time with (and you are), then you moving toward your dream demands honest answers to the questions above. It also demands that you face the implications of those answers and begin to make relational moves accordingly. These kinds of moves may be just the type that a good coach could help you navigate. I would love to be that help to you. You can get started right here. If you do the work and get the right people around you, you really can find YOUR future.