I recently went to an amazing game lodge owned by couple, Derek and Beverly Joubert. It is amazing how they work together. They packed their bags as couple and left Johannesburg 30 years ago and went up north bushes. They lived in a tent for while. They are always together, they work together following and documenting wildlife, Derek video records wildlife and ultimately produces National Geographic documentaries and Bervely takes amazing still pictures in the process.
They have been working together for the past 30 years. (Have you ever thought of working with your partner full time?). They share almost everything, they have many cars that are used as game drive bakkies, but when they go to work, they go together in one vehicle. They share the same facebook and twitter account, they gave a TED Talk together, Derek wrote a foreword for Beverly’s photobook. They influence and inspire each other.
According to Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I believe who you spend time with influences the person you eventually become.
If you want to be great, hang around great people. If you want to be an innovative person, you must hang around innovative people. People around you inspire or drain you, pick your circle wisely. Over time you tend to adopt a part of the people around you. Your couch, mentor, your close friend, workmates influences you.
In life, you will encounter all different types of people: the good, the bad and the detrimental. Character is so largely affected by association, that we cannot afford to be indifferent as to who or what our friends are.
If you hang out with people who cheat and take shortcuts in life, they will influence you to think like them and most probably you will cheat as well.
If you hang out with people with strong morals and principles, people who value loyalty in the midst of temptations, they will influence you to believe what they believe.
If you hang out with people who are doing work that empowers others, or hang out with people who are counseling and praying for others, or hang out with people who are getting deep into what it means be human doing work that matters, the odds are that the business you build is going to be more human.
If you hang out with people who are going really slow because they don’t want to make a mistake, you are not going to make mistakes but you going to go really slow.
I prefer to hang out with people who go really fast and who have concluded that mistakes are not going to kill them.
So this means if I’m going to see someone I haven’t seen in a while and I haven’t make mistakes lately, I’m going to be embarrassed, so I have to go make some new mistakes quickly so that I have something to talk about when I meet that person.
This is a very profound cultural insight about this idea. It used to be that the only associations you had were your work tribe, social tribe, your religious tribe and that was it. Now you can join and belong to any tribe you want, from online to people down the street.
Someone sent an email pointing out that it is not like in her neighborhood and I said but your neighborhood doesn’t matter as much as it used to. Local used to be the only way we used to organize. What your postal code or home address would tell me is which community you belong to and what type of life you live.
It used to be that I can tell a lot about your home address, now I want to know your browser history not your home address because it is where you are “hanging out” virtually where you have real collisions. The types of collisions matter more than who you are swearing at cutting you off the traffic at your community, because those sorts of collisions are not the kind of collisions I’m talking about.
The people you hang out with physically and virtually are the types of collisions that matter. Show me your friends, I will show you your future.
Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with.
And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes.
And the changes are what you become.
Change the outcome by changing your circle.
By choosing who you spend time with, you are literally shaping your own future. Start by examining the people you spend the most time around. Consider if these people are enabling you toward your envisioned self. If they are not, limit your contacts with them, if possible cut it off.
Identify and increase contact with the people who will enable you to become the best person you can be. Guard your circle very selfishly.
How about you register for that degree with someone close to you. Influencing each during your study years will be amazing and graduating together will even be more amazing. The legacy you start will rub off to your kids and future generations.
Birds of a feather flock together.