Tip #58 You’re the Average of the 5 People You Spend the Most Time With
The famous notion that we become a melding pot of those we spend the most time with has been dissected and expounded upon in business and lifestyle articles galore. Research has shown there is truth to the caveat. Today, as many of us manage our organizations from dining room tables or home office/toy rooms we’re surrounded by pajama-clad colleagues, furry collaborators, and, occasionally, solitude. For those who are working in-office, conference room gatherings may have shifted to Zoom calls or Slack chats. Will this lack of socialization have an impact on our psyche? Is my intellect gradually dipping to that of my seven-year-old? … My affinity for going to bed before 9:00pm and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches notwithstanding.
If Rohn’s theory and supporting research is valid, then yes, eventually a socially distanced environment will have an impact, unless we intentionally make meaningful connections with our desired network a priority.
So, whose melding pot do you want to be part of?
Are you following that author you love so much on social media? How about the blog of that speaker you heard last year? Who is doing work similar to you in a different area of the nation? Your network has the potential to be as inspiring, informed, and encouraging as we want it to be.
This is your year to be fearless when it comes to growth. Don’t let your network become so insular that it keeps your perspective and your cause small. Seek out connections that will bring new ideas to you, your cause, and your community.
Make it a [good] habit.
We don’t need another reason to check our phones. With each buzz or ding of our devices, the dopamine trigger in our brains becomes a greater distraction. Be specific and targeted in your connection – much like you would in non-distanced socialization. You go to certain coffee shops, meet with certain people regularly, and likely network with those who share an interest or expertise in a certain topic or field. Do the same thing with your virtual networking. Invest time into info-centric platforms, i.e., blogs, Goodreads, or LinkedIn. Don’t try to amass a thousand new people to follow or connect with, but rather pick a few people you really respect and admire who have expertise in areas you’re interested in developing in.
Prune your network.
As much as a good boss or friend can build up your confidence, enthusiasm, and curiosity about your own abilities, a bad one can beat down the best parts of you. It’s ok to unfollow or “snooze” people for periods of time. If you’re going to absorb elements of five individuals around you most, you can’t risk even 1/5th of a bad character.
We’re all much more than the sum of those around us, but there is beauty in the fact that we all have the potential to build each other. Get intentional about the 1/5th you represent in those closest to you and be careful who you allow into your melding pot.
Ways to Get Started
Join networks with a wide span and a common thread. Here are some DO MORE GOOD Networks you may want to take advantage of:
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