It’s kind of weird to be home after five weeks when I planned to be away for six months. Before I left, I made a promise to myself that I would address a certain area of my life once I get back. But now that I’m home, taking a hiatus, I’ve been forced to think about this problem again.
Let me explain…
The Sum of the Five People
Jim Rohn said it best in his quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” In other words, if you’re surrounded by crack heads, in all likelihood, you’ll probably become a crack head yourself.
I always think about this quote when I look at the people in my life. Like I said in an article about finding your passion, I have a number of friendships that truly inspire me to become a better person. On the other hand, I also have a few friends whom I feel only brought negativity into my life.
Here’s a personal example of what I mean…
My Friend Fletcher
Let’s talk about a guy I know whom we’ll call Fletcher (Got this name from the main character of the movie “Liar, Liar.”) I was friends with Fletcher for almost six years. He’s one of those guys who everyone likes because he’s personable and fun to be around.
On the other hand, Fletcher is a compulsive liar. I’m not talking about little ‘white lies.’ I mean he makes up complete fabrications about his life. In fact, it got to the point where every time he would tell a story, we would ask if it’s true or if it’s another “Fletcher Story.”
What’s bothered me most about Fletcher was the quote I mentioned before. Whereas I think most of the people in my life are inspiring, I also feel that my friendship with this person was pulling me down. While he’s fun to be around, he’s also completely and utterly unreliable.
Now I won’t go into the gory details, but in late March there was an incident with Fletcher that was the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back.’ Once again, he did something that I felt was example of his poor character.
After this event, he sent a long-winded Facebook message defending his actions and then accusing me of not understanding his situation. Now I would like to say that I gave an eloquent response. But in truth, I ignored his email and phone calls. My logic was Fletcher has shown zero respect for me, so why should I spend another second on a friendship that no longer brought any value into my life.
Technically, I never officially ended my friendship with Fletcher. But I know he’s been told by a mutual friend that I no longer want him in my life. And I’m going to do my best to avoid any interaction with him.
In short, he’s been “fired” as my friend.
Drawing a Line in the Sand
I know like this seems like an extreme reaction. However, there’s a reason that I now have this mindset…
For over a year, I allowed a romantic relationship to pretty much destroy every friendship that I had in my life. (The only reason I still have these friendships is because I know some very forgiving people.)
When I look back on what I did during this period, I’ve come to the realization that I allowed one person to control the way that I thought. The funny thing is I only have myself to blame. The end result is I’m now hyper-vigilant about the relationships and friendships that I have in my life.
Currently I have the mindset where I ‘draw a line in the sand’ and no longer accept low-class behavior from the people in my life. If I feel like a friend has a core character trait that will only brings me down, then I’m not afraid to cut all ties with that person.
Firing the People in Your Life
Like I said, my reaction was pretty extreme. With that said, I think you really are influenced by the people in your life.
For example, if you want to ultimately quit your job and start your own business, this will be hard to do if everyone around you tells you it’s impossible. On the other hand, if you have great friendships, then you’ll be inspired to make this change in your life.
I challenge you to carefully examine the people in your life. I’m not saying you have to cut all ties with everyone who is negative. But perhaps you should limit your time with these individuals and seek out new friendships who push you to become a better person.
Remember you truly are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.Take Action. Get Results.