“You are a compilation of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
This is a quote by Jim Rohn, who was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. His quote emphasizes the effect that people around us can have on our behavior and state of mind. Although I agree with Jim for the most part, I do believe this quote is a little shortsighted. We are certainly influenced by the five (or however many) people we spend most of our time with but I do not believe that we are as Jim says ‘a compilation’. This completely disregards the elements of choice and individuality. We will always have our own consciousness, so we can choose to accept or neglect influences from people around us. It goes through a sort of filter first. The tricky thing is that the closer a person is to you, the thinner your filter is. So we would question what they say or do less because we trust them. However, the concept of trust only works when applied to the right people. Trusting the wrong people results in disaster.
The good news is, we have some control over the people we surround ourselves with. We can make it easier for ourselves if we choose to spend time with people who we know have a positive output. You need people to be your mirror, who listen and are encouraging. Besides the serious stuff – that is obviously important – you should also be able to have plain fun together. Fun is such an underrated element in relationships. If seeing someone makes you feel heavy and discouraged the majority of the time, it’s a pretty good indication you are not each others match. It’s not that you could not spend time with them, it’s just that you should not as it takes energy out of you, brings you down and ultimately does not build on a sustainable relationship. And it doesn’t necessarily mean the person is a negative person per se – nor that you are – but that the match of the two of you just doesn’t create anything positive to build on.
Who you surround yourself with has everything to do with the law of attraction. It’s important to think about what you radiate. So, think good thoughts and act in a way you want other people to act. When you surround yourself with like minded people you build each other up. That doesn’t mean that you should only hang out with one kind of person, because it’s good to be challenged by different personalities. But, ask yourself what elements a person brings out in you. Are these elements you wish to expand more or parts of yourself you don’t really like?
Challenges to the tribe
Although we choose who we spend time with for the most part, we do not have control over everyone we see. We often don’t choose our colleagues, nor our family. However, friends have a more dynamic position. Those are the people we most consciously choose to spend time with. There is also the element of time. You will change and people will change, so it’s only logical that your tribe will change too. Positions within the tribe can change; some people stay, others will go. So, prioritize the right people and choose your tribe wisely.
Eva van der Graaf. Born in The Netherlands. Raised in Africa. MSc WUR. Owner of WritingBy. Hippie at Heart. Photography by @happyhippyfoodie