Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I have heard this quoted by a lot of people over the years. The quote is meant to encourage you to be sure you’re spending time with people who you respect and who will make you a better person in the long run.
It’s great advice, and as humans, we have a strong tendency to mimic the people we spend the most time with. We want to be liked and have things in common with people, so over time, we will develop bonds with those who are most like us.
This quote is most often used to remind us to select our friends wisely, but the other day I thought about it from the opposite perspective, one that puts the ball in my court. What about the people who spend most of their time with me? In reverse to the people I spent my time with, I also contribute to the overall result of the people who spend a lot of their time with me.
Think about it. The people who spend most of their time with YOU are influenced by YOU. Your best friend is the average of the five people he/she spends the most time with, and one of those people is you.
So, what are you giving them? What are you putting out in the world? Your attitude rubs off on the people around you. So does your outlook on life and your commitment to being your best (or lack thereof). Do you complain or problem solve? Do you encourage people or tear them down?
How you go about your life matters, both for yourself and for the people around you. How you treat people will affect how they treat others, and those people treat others, and on it goes. You have an opportunity to make the world a better place just through being kind to the small group of people around you. The more intentional you are, the more intentional the world will be. All of these things will compound because of the way humans are, you affect others, they affect others, those people affect others, and so on. Choosing to live your life well and be kind will have a splintering effect throughout your community.
Kindness spreads, criticism spreads, complaining spreads, hard work spreads. You can make the choice to do your part to make sure the good things are spreading.
Having a positive impact on the world begins with the people you impact daily.
If I have an effect on the people I spend the most of my time with, and their evolution as a person is affected by how I treat them and how I go about living my life, then I have a responsibility to give them the best that I can. The kinder I am, the kinder those around me will be, and the more driven I am the more driven they will be. It might be small and unnoticeable at the time, but the more goodness you give to the world, the more the world will feel it.
So go, do your part to make life better for the people around you and impact them in a positive way. Make changes in the little ways, and the big impact will follow.