I love this topic. It stirs up a lot of feeling of guilt for most of us, as we start to consider the idea that we are the average of the five people we spend the most amount of time with. I mean, who wants to think about having to dump a life-long friend. Could they really be the reason you are not getting what you want in life?
You have likely heard that saying about ‘the average of the 5 people…” before, and until recently I have never heard any real research that had backed up this notion. Even though I truly believed that we act in a certain way because of the people we hang around, I had no idea how significant their influence was on our success rate.
The social psychologist Dr McClelland of Harvard says, “your ‘reference group’ determines 95% of your success or failure in life.” Your ‘reference group’ as he calls it, are the people you set as your reference for normal in your life. The people you spend the most amount of time with count as a large percentage of that group since they exert the most amount of peer pressure on the way you think and act. How we think and act is determined by what we know and experience.
I was just interviewed by Dana Pharant of the Inner Dominatrix on this topic and we had a lot of fun sharing what it really means for our businesses and our lives to go through life never evaluating who we spend our time with. I also share a great tool to help you figure out how to evaluate your 5 Inner Circle people.
Check out the Inner Dominatrix podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, episode 7 being released February 7th and download the free evaluation tool here. Remember, it is not that they are in your life, it is that you have never looked beyond what you know and have to find what you want.