Awareness of Influence

Awareness of Influence: Who are you spending time with?

Who Are You Spending Your Time With?

“You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with” says Jim Rohn, renowned businessman and motivational speaker. Are you aware of who you are spending most of your time with?

Take a moment to write down the five people with whom you spend the most time interacting on a regular basis. Perhaps it’s co-workers, your spouse/partner, or friends. Now rate how much of a positive influence that person is on your life. Do they help and support the goals you are trying to achieve? Or are they usually sabotaging (even if innocently) your efforts for self-improvement? You can assign each person a numerical rating on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being most positive influence or makes you feel most uplifted), and take the average.* Are you happy with the result?

Who’s Opinion Influences You?

I would go so far as to say it’s not just the amount of time, but even more so the person’s influence on you. How much do you rely on this person’s opinion and character in making your decisions? You may only spend 20-30 minutes a week conversing with your mother (and in contrast spend much more time each week with co-workers). If your mother is always putting you down or being unsupportive of your goals or questioning your relationships, you may place more value on her opinion than you do a co-worker with whom you share a cubical, and spend 40 hours with every week. Your mother is, after all, your mother. So now go back to your list and revise to include those with whom you may not spend an exorbitant amount of time with, but whom have a strong impact on your decision making process – positive or negative. Add no more than two or three, and it’s possible you aren’t adding any as they may have already been included in your original list. Rate the new people added, but don’t average them in.

Now compare their rating to your average; is the rating higher or lower than your average? If lower, than you will want to lessen the amount of time (further) or lessen the amount of influence that person holds over you. If it is higher, than you will definitely want to spend more time with this person.

You Influence Others As Well

It is important to be aware of what influence your interactions have on others as well. Are you supportive and inspiring with others? Are you contributing to the negativity? Strive to be helpful and positive. Your gestures don’t have to be grand, as many small actions can add up. Improving and growing yourself will in turn help others to improve and grow.

Take time this week to really think about who you spend most of your time with. Are these the people that are going to push you UP or drag you DOWN?

* add the five ratings and divide by 5 to get the average.

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