I recently had a discussion with one of my friends about what it takes to achieve the goals we want in life. My friend is already an accomplished marketing professional and yet in her eyes she had merely scratched the surface in her career and what she wanted to do. One conclusion I kept coming back to during the conversation is that when it comes to our goals and aims across many aspects of our lives, the people we hang around with the most heavily influence our chances of achieving our aspirations.
The quote entitling this blog post then became extremely poignant.. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” … this got me thinking about who this would relate to in my life and how they have affected and/or are effecting how I think, how I act and ultimately, how successful I will be.
It then came to my attention that internal factors we posses – things we are born with; our traits, our qualities, our strengths, our skills and our families are tainted or enhanced via our closest associates. It’s a notion that often becomes apparent when embarking upon the lifestyle changes that are required in order to positively change our health and our physiques. How many times have you been called “weird” because you aren’t having the ‘drop a jean size in seven days’ bowl of special K for breakfast, washed down nicely with a large glass of concentrated fruit juice, bursting with ‘essential vitamins and minerals’?
Or how many times have you been out to a dinner party with friends and decided not to drink alcohol, yet this then becomes the main topic of discussion around the table as you sit through an episode of Question Time as to why you aren’t partaking? I can totally relate to this and it often induces anxiety about the night ahead as we begin to question why we are doing it in the first place. Our minds begin to wonder…why have we chosen to make this positive change in our lives? Are we actually capable of doing it? Are we capable of changing?
I strongly encourage you to evaluate how these people impact upon your life. Do they push you forward? Will they keep you going when things get tough, when barriers are hit and when we ultimately want to give up completely?
Making big changes in your life, whether it is a lifestyle change or a career change, require the support of those closest around us. Their input is extremely valuable, otherwise they wouldn’t be there in the first place, right?
Using myself as an example – I struggled to understand this concept initially and hung onto relationships with people for far too long. This isn’t to say that they weren’t great people, as I respected each one of them for varying reasons, however, I knew that they weren’t as hungry for success or happiness as I was. Gradually I began to learn this and started to spend less time with them, this is not to say that I don’t still keep in touch with them, because I do.
Today, I am fortunate enough to have a job that I absolutely love, a job that consistently challenges me yet also allows me to practice my strengths and help others on a daily basis. My goal was to work in a facility that would allow me to do this whilst simultaneously developing me further. By surrounding myself with extremely driven and knowledgeable individuals I have been able to end up working in one of the best personal training gyms in London, if not the UK, W10 Performance. I strongly believe that without the help, guidance and support of those select few around me, this wouldn’t have happened and I would, instead, be at a static, comfortable & mediocre position in my career.
Our time is precious and therefore needs to be utilised as efficiently as possible. If you find yourself hanging around with the ‘energy vampires’ and/or the ‘put everyone else downers’ (we all know at least one!) try to decrease the amount of time you spend with such people and instead, increase the time you spend with the positive and supportive ones you are lucky enough to have in your lives.
Above all, be happy. Happiness does wonders for your overall health and may be that missing link to break the plateau in your fitness journey. Don’t be afraid to lose some friends, support from your family, or anything else if that means you start surrounding yourself with the right people.