Have you ever spent any time with a “Negative Ned” or a “Debbie Downer”? You know the type – they turn every positive emotion or action into something negative.
If you have, did you walk away from them feeling innovative or did you feel inspired to conquer the world? I’m going to venture a guess you probably did not. It’s more likely that you walked away feeling a bit mentally drained.
There is an old saying that goes something like this:
“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”
And your self-worth shouldn’t be dependent on others. But incredible things are rarely accomplished alone. You need others to help you and in that process, you should help others as well.
Like-Minded or Differing Perspectives
It’s a pretty calm feeling having like-minded people around us. It gives us a certain level of comfort. Unfortunately, that degree of security doesn’t do much to push you to expand your horizons. It doesn’t do much to challenge your thoughts.
If everyone in your network has the same opinion, what do you learn?
Differing perspectives force us to think about other possibilities, truths, or alternatives.
Jim Rohn famously said:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Do your own survey. Look around. Take a look at your network. Take a look at your friends. Who do you spend the most time with?
As I coach my clients, I always ask about their support system. It’s paramount. Achieving success is much easier when you are surrounded by the right people.
Sometimes friends are formed by happenstance. Sometimes we stay friends with people from high school or college. But our goals change as we evolve and grow. It can often be a stark realization that the friends we grew to know and trust may not understand our new path or journey.
If you’ve ever gone to one of your high school reunions, you probably understand just how true that rings.
That realization doesn’t have to stop you from being friends but spending a lot of time with people who don’t get excited about your success doesn’t do anything to help you push your goals forward.
Think beyond the attributes that your network and friends might have – or not have in many cases. Think about their traits and behaviors.
The people you spend the most time with should:
- Make you a better person
- Support you
- Push you to meet your goals
- Inspire you
- Help you transform
Surround Yourself with These People
The Dreamer: Sometimes dreamers can be seen as unrealistic or undisciplined but they can also be insightful visionaries. They think of things that others do not. Dreamers can bring spark to your life. They help you imagine “what if.” You feel life’s vitality when you are around them. Dreamers have a strong tendency to be highly creative and they make you believe that everything is possible.
The Driver: The Driver brings the dream to reality. They understand the big picture but have the talent to break it down into steps and action points. They are results-oriented and can do a lot in a short amount of time. They are usually decisive, direct, and pragmatic. They know how to carry out a plan. They thrive on the thrill of the challenge. Drivers are practical folks who focus on getting results.
The Motivator: This is your voice of inspiration. They keep pushing you to meet your goals. They help you understand that goals are met more frequently when they are tied to a “higher purpose.” This person infuses you with energy and enthusiasm.
The Supporter: This is the true friend. This is the person with whom you can let your guard down. It’s your comfort zone. It’s your safe haven. Just remember that you still have to stretch but comfort is not all that bad at times. This person will be there as you journey through life and they will journey with you. They are excited when you realize success and support you in time of need.
The Devil’s Advocate: This person is the critical thinker. They ask questions and lots of them. They see problems before they arise. This person is crucial because you need their perspective. They won’t sugarcoat it. They’re blunt but try to look out for you. They are often the voice of reason and you may not always like what they have to say.
While a Driver may help you iron out the fine details, the Devil’s Advocate will see things in the macro level. They get right to the core of the issue.
To sum it up:
- A Dreamer will help you dream it.
- A Driver will turn dreams into reality.
- A Motivator will inspire you every step of the way.
- A Supporter will never leave your side, through good and bad times.
- A Devil’s Advocate cuts through the BS and tells you the real deal.
Be persistent with surrounding yourself with those who bring out the best in you. Be relentless in having a network who constantly challenges you as much as you challenge yourself.
Remarkable people beget remarkable people. Success begets success.