I once read somewhere that you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. So, it got me thinking…if these are the people we spend the majority of our time with, do we ever stop to analyze their characteristics? Are these people the right fit for us? Should they be a part of our inner circle? Most of all, should they be given a major role in the direction of our lives? These are questions that we should ask ourselves because a true deep bond or relationship isn’t formed from a superficial foundation but from deep meaning and connectivity. This analysis is also important for growth, entrepreneurship and evolution. So, we need to surround ourselves with the right people if we want to continue to grow and challenge ourselves.

They encourage growth & offer you advice

Growth is not merely a physical trait that is measurable, it is also a combination of intellectual evolution and increasing mental capacity. Each of these elements of growth can be fostered by keeping the “right” people in your life, reading the right books, watching the right videos and participating in the right initiatives. There is an exhaustive list of achieving the multidimensional possibilities of growth but one major way of achieving growth is ensuring that you keep the right people in your life. This can be achieved by asking yourself the right questions about the character traits of the people present in your inner circle; do they empower you? Do they support you? Do they believe in you? Do they love you? Do they challenge you?

Another aspect of this characteristic is making sure you surround yourself with the people who offer you the best advice. As we know, navigating through life means also navigating through choices and sometimes picking the right choice isn’t always as clear as day. This is why you will need people who can better stir you towards making the right decisions and picking the right choices, and this can be achieved through good advice.

Make sure you have people on your speed dial that you can reach out to when those cloudy days appear.

They challenge you to be better

Constantly striving to be better is something we should all fight for and this point may bleed right from the previous one about growth but having challenges in your life that inspire you to be your best self is very healthy. For example, keeping people that are more accomplished than you are in your life when viewed positively may help empower and inspire you to achieve great things in your own life. Of course, this is also a double edged sword as it may breed negative emotions of jealousy and covetousness of what others have. However, if you position these more accomplished people in your life to serve as motivators, and inspirations, positive individual growth and a positive challenge will be achieved.

reflection

In fact something to reference from pop culture about this very point is the speech made by Matthew McConaughey after winning “Best Actor” at the Oscars in 2014. He mentioned having three things in his life that he needs. One of them is having something to look up to, the other is having something to look forward to, while the third is having someone to chase. He mentioned that he looked up to God, looked forward to seeing his family each day after a day’s work and always chased his future self. So to challenge yourself each day, perhaps give your future self (perhaps 10 year older self) some traits and achievements you don’t currently possess today and then spend each day trying to chase that future for yourself.

This is a healthy challenge that if you don’t already have in the people that surround you, you can do this for yourself internally.

They share your values & interests

This is the big one. Ever heard the saying, “I feel alone in a crowded room”? This is because the people in that room have no similar interests and values as the person who said that quote and it couldn’t be truer. Test it out today if you don’t believe me. Having and surrounding yourself with people that possess the same values as you not only provide this kindred spirit connection that you wouldn’t believe existed but it promotes deep interconnection that is healthy on every level. Having someone who shares the same interests as you is the reason a lot of relationships last years because when personalities are inherently the same, all of the above mentioned points naturally occur; you grow and challenge yourself.

So, look at your inner circle today because if you are the average of the 5 people you spend every day with, you should choose carefully.