This post is part of a series detailing my experience with Damn Early Days (more on that here) and what I’ve learnt attempting to wake up really damn early every day.
Don’t underestimate the power of surrounding yourself with the right people. As businessman John Rohn put it so eloquently, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That is to say, your success is not only a function of your own mindset or abilities but also those who you surround yourself with.
Yet most of us don’t really stop to think about who we interact with on a daily basis. If you’ve adopted a growth mindset and are committed to developing your full potential, it probably doesn’t make much sense to hang out with the regulars down at the pub every night (unless that happens to be where you host your masterminds).
It’s important to have a group of people in your life that you feel comfortable sharing your dreams and aspirations with, and it’s important that those people be supportive of those dreams. Nothing is harder than trying to reach the summit of a metaphorical (or very real) precipice than trying to reach the summit of a metaphorical (or very real) precipice by yourself. The easiest way to ensure your success and speed up your journey is to invite others along for the ride—just make sure they’re helping and not hindering your progress.
It’s also important to surround yourself with individuals who have achieved far greater success than you have currently as well as people who aren’t quite as far along their journey.
Stuck in the middle
Why does it pay to be in the middle of the pack?
Well, let’s say you’ve been meaning to up your fitness game and get that beach bod ready for summer. Clearly, it wouldn’t hurt to make friends with a personal trainer, or at least someone who’s already been there. Not only will they understand the motivation behind your goal, but they’ll be able to coach you on the path that worked best for them and the various mistakes that they made along the way—so that you might be able to avoid some of those same blunders.
It also pays to make friends with those who share a similar goal, but may not be quite as far along as you in their journey.
Why? Because mentoring others and teaching them what you’ve already learnt is the fastest and more effective way of internalising information. Be a teacher, because the act of teaching forces us to process information in a way that we don’t as learners and ensures that the lessons we uncover are committed to memory—and not relegated to a dusty notebook, never to be looked at again.
Not only that, but watching someone else working toward a similar goal can be intensely motivating.
So if you’re looking to write a book, seek out authors and aspiring authors. If you want to run a marathon, befriend someone who’s on their fifth and someone else who’s on their first 10k. And if you’re simply looking to get more out of life and aren’t content to sit back and watch life pass you by, find a group of people that share those values, like I did with the DEDs crew.