Friends do influence us.
You can choose who to hang around with if you want change in your life.
My experience of the statement ‘you become who you hang around with’ was true from an early age.
Around the time I turned 18, a lot of my high school friends were going to jail for crimes they had been doing to get drugs. I didn’t see many of them going anywhere interesting soon and I knew if I stayed in my hometown I probably wouldn’t either.
That is not to be judgmental.
To me these ‘criminals’ were just children, who got caught up in a disempowering culture and with adults who were not able to break the cycle, and were going to jail as a consequence.
Anything Is Possible
See, I had grown up with great minds. My religion was empowering quotes on the fridge that I unconsciously unknowingly absorbed that led me to believe that anything is possible. That I could create any life I imagined.
So when I moved to the States, I learnt a very valuable lesson young.
When you move to a new location, you can make new friends and become anyone you want to be. If no one knows your background you can make new friends and create a new you.
I spent the next ten years a bit like a chameleon lizard, adapting to the different environments around me, soaking in the different cultures, attitudes and belief systems of those I was hanging with.
Then as my journey progressed I gained access to the environments of successful people and I started to realise if I wanted to be successful, I needed to hang out with successful people too.
We don’t always have physical access to the people we admire, for example: J Lo, Oprah, the Dalai Lama etc. But these people generally have recorded interviews or books and we can follow them on social media.
It has been said that we become the sum total of the 5 people we hang around most.
So take a good look at the 5 people you spend the most time with.
- Are they empowering you?
- Are they positive?
- Are they successful?
If you answered no, I’m not saying cut them out of your life. I’m saying include more people into your life. Widen your social circle.
You can have ‘no physical friends’ and become a new person.
You can be alone and think of it like a jail.
You are lonely.
No one visits you.
Or you can use this situation to your advantage.
You can start hanging out with the people you want to become – virtually, online or in books.
The Fear Of 13
One of the most moving documentaries I saw recently was about an innocent man who went to jail. It’s called ‘The Fear of 13’ (which is in some way a story about everyone who ends up in jail or in the prison of their mind).
Through circumstances he became literate and started hanging around great minds. He used his isolation to his advantage and went through an amazing transformation. He was able to break the cycle of his circumstances and emerge as the essence he is.
Start Spending Time With The People You Want To Be More Like
Take a good look at the people you hang out with most.
Then, write a list of the people who inspire you most.
- Could you start following them on social media?
- Do they have a book or video?
- Read it. Watch it.
Start spending time with the people you want to be more like. You can choose who you want to follow. You can choose who you want to unfollow. Your destiny truly lies in your own hands.