Written by Elliott Caras, Studio Owner & Personal Trainer - Vision Personal Training Clarence St, Sydney
"You become the average of the 5 people you hang around most". Jim Rohn.
Think about that for a minute. Who are the 5 people you hang around most? Are they on a path that you want to be on, do they motivate and inspire you, or do they provide you comfort, whilst questioning your beliefs and dreams?
While the circle of influence has played a significant role in my life, I had not felt the need to post about it until recent observations had compelled me to write about the topic.
For me it makes absolute sense that you become the average of the people you hang around most, for others it is not so clear that this is the case.
Stephen Covey's book the 7 habits of Highly Effective People talks about the habits of people who achieve in any area they want. The book talks about the two areas that affect people, the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence which sits inside the Circle of Concern. The first of the 7 habits highly effective people adopt is the habit of being proactive.
Proactive people focus on their circle of influence and passive people focus on their circle of concern. This choice has a huge impact on your ability to get what you want out of your life.
Circle of concern is focussing on things out of your control like the weather, national debt, interest rates, and terrorism. Have you met people who blame their poor mood on the weather? I like a sunny day as much as the next person, but it will not dictate my outlook, whether I feel like exercising or reading that book.
Proactive people focus on things they can do something about: health, learning, relationships both at home, and work. Being proactive is being responsible for where your life is headed. It almost always involves people and subsequently your circle of influence.
Quite a bit has been written about the circle of influence, instead of repeating it here are my 4 tips on improving your circle on influence for the better.
1. Focus on habits - your own and those you wish to emulate
As a personal trainer I was not always fitter than my clients and sometimes I did not even like exercise as much as they did - especially running! The biggest difference between me and my clients was the habits I had formed. I had a healthy body image, practiced delayed gratification with my goals had laser like focus and just kept going. This appealed to clients and I made a career banking on my habits and values around health and well being.
When I'm in contact with people who are living a certain way or have attained a level of success that I wish to emulate for myself, I study their habits and take mental notes on how they operate in order to achieve the things that they do. Over the years I have accumulated strategies and methodologies of some great people and incorporated the learning into my own way of living. Conversely I take mental notes when I see people who are living a life I want to avoid and see habits they have formed as warning signs of what not to do.
Successful people all do this, and they will notice your positive habits and seek to spend more time with you as it reinforces the way they live. Be that beacon, that guide post for what successful living is all about and you will have no problem expanding and improving on your circle of influence.
2. The law of the lid - you can only take someone as high and you are
Everything gets better when you do, and nothing gets better until you do. By focusing on yourself it may appear selfish to others, however you are actually preparing yourself to lift others, to higher levels than if you were to remain the same. I was wildly focused on my own results for a period of time which allowed me to better focus on the results of others and be in a better position to help others by being "selfish".
Similarly you can only be coached at the level you are at currently. There is little to learn from a billionaire if you have the mindset of an average person. I remember reading the book by Michael Gerber titled the E Myth before I was a business owner, it made little sense to me at the time, fast forward and two years into my business re-reading the content was like a light bulb that set my mind on fire and it is now one of my favourite books.
3. Assess your levels of comfort
You have to be comfortable with discomfort sometimes. If you set a goal and a friend asked you: "What have you done to move towards that goal this week?" If you are comfortable telling them not much then you need to find someone who you'd be afraid to let them know about your lack of action.
When a client of mine hands me a book to read that they recommended, I make it a personal mission to devour its content. Why? Well they are successful and I wish to model them. If they ask me next week how is the book and I say I haven't opened it, I send a message to the person that I'm not interested in growing, please don't give me any more of your gold. This is not the message I wish to send.
In management, A players hire A players, B players hire C's and D's so they look better. Make sure you have a level of discomfort in order to grow. If you are the smartest in the room (all the time) you are not that bright.
4. Remove energy vampires and negativity
Cut out all negative inputs and people. I do not read the papers or listen to the news, if it is important I can be sure I would hear about it, or see it on my Facebook newsfeed.
You are responsible for who you agree to spend time with, do they provide you with inspiration and energy? Or do they suck the life out of you and your dreams?
Even if its family or the work environment you must counter the negativity with controlled minimised contact or heavily invest into positive influences to offset the negativity. Turning to alcohol after a hard day to wind down only perpetuates the negativity. Catch up with someone positive on the phone or in person when you feel the need to re-synch.
By focusing on your circle of influence as opposed to your circle of concern, you choose to be proactive rather than reactive. You will find yourself with no one to blame, less excuses and more positivity. Remember positive energy increases your circle of influence, negative energy decreases your circle of influence and you will be left to concern yourself with the election, the weather, and other things out of your control.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.