You have heard it so many times before. “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” a quote attributed most often to motivational speaker Jim Rohn.
We are all pretty much getting the message; audit the people in your life. Make sure that you’re spending time with people who are living the way you want to live your life.
It’s eye opening.
And it is false.
Through the research of David Burkus, it’s been proven that you are, in fact, influenced by the people around you. However, that influence doesn’t stop anywhere close to just the five people you associate with the most. It’s far greater!
In a major study conducted by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler they analyzed data to see what the effects of family members and friends was on obesity.
According to their results, if a friend of yours becomes obese, you are 45 percent more likely to gain weight over the next two to four years. More surprisingly, they discovered that if a friend of your friend becomes obese, your likelihood of gaining weight increases by about 20 percent… even if you don’t know that friend of a friend. The effect continues one more person out. If a friend of the friend of your friend develops obesity, you are still 10 percent more likely than random chance to gain weight as well.
So what do we take away from this? If your friend is obese or a friend of a friend is obese, that changes your perception of what is acceptable and therefore your behavior changes accordingly – even if you don’t notice.
And it doesn’t stop at obesity. It’s true for everything from smoking to gossip and happiness. Happy friends make you happier, of course!
Your friends really are your future. Take a moment today to examine your entire circle.
You’re not the average of the five people you surround with. It’s so much greater than that.
We are all chasing our own goals for our own reasons, but your support system is everything.
We want to get to know you, understand your goals, and team up to create an action plan to overcome your struggles.
It all starts with a conversation.