I read this Jim Rohn quote the other day: ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’
Ever since I read it, I’ve been pondering it and whilst I appreciate that it’s probably supposed to motivate us to surround ourselves with go-getters who will spur us on to greater things, I’m not sure I agree with him. It seems to me that this sentiment strips us of personal responsibility for our own achievements – ‘well, if I had lots of successful friends, I’d be successful too. I’ll never make anything of myself stuck with this bunch of losers.’ Most of spend a lot of our waking hours at work and can’t always choose the company we keep: I hope you have fantastic colleagues, but even if you do, your success isn’t their responsibility, it’s yours.
Our responsibilities include –
How we act –
Did you ever say to your parents ‘I only did it because so-and-so did it’ and they responded ‘well, if she jumped off a cliff, would you do that too?’? If the people around you choose to turn up to the office late and unprepared, does it automatically follow that you will too?
How we react –
Our responses to any given situation are our responsibility. Imagine your boss comes in and tells you that, due to branch closures, headcount at your shop is under review. What happens if you join in with the crowd as they down tools and settle in for a moaning session? I’m guessing it won’t make you feel any better. What else could you do?
How we connect –
Perhaps you have great colleagues but they all work in your current field of work and you’d like to find some encouragement and inspiration from someone elsewhere. One of the beauties of social media is that we have so many more opportunities to connect with people we’d never have the chance to meet otherwise. You could find yourself a virtual mentor. Don’t forget to connect in real life too: say you want to transfer into a career in accountancy and you only know one accountant: chances are that she can probably introduce you to some other accountants.
Don’t rely on the five people you most frequently associate with to shape your success – and besides, who wants to be average?
Today’s pebble for your thoughts:
How do you need to take responsibility for your actions, your reactions and your connections this week?
What do you think?
ps If working with a coach is one of your strategies to take responsibility for your own success, do email me to see how we can work together.
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?