We are the average of our five closest friends.

When we have a choice, we tend to surround ourselves with people we feel comfortable with, who we can be our true selves around. Our five closest friends, not our family, but the people we choose to spend our time with, say a lot about who we are. Here’s a fun experiment – average their approximate annual income, does it match your income? How about their average level of education? Or less tangible attributes like their average level of generosity, trustworthiness, reliability, or even fitness? Our friends are often a reflection of ourselves. They also support and encourage us, bring us up, or drop us down. It’s important to pay attention to the people we surround ourselves with, and since their character rubs off on us, make sure they are generally, who we want to be. We should consider spending more time with more people we respect and want to emulate, because their personalities and their influential opportunities affect us in ways we don’t anticipate. Our conversations with friends, the activities we do with them, how we act around them, and all aspects of our friendships, contribute to our own mindset.

Take action: Time with friends is valuable, so choose wisely who you want to socialize with. You may need to toughen up and limit being with people out of obligation or sympathy. On the flip side, you can also bring out the best in your friends, and reach new levels together.

Inspired by Scott Duffy’s book, Launch!: The Critical 90 Days from Idea to Market.

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