Your environment might be the biggest inhibitor to your success.
The environment around you is the biggest determining factor in your ability to grow and change as a person. And I’m not talking about the air around you, I’m talking about the people and circumstances.
What people are encouraging (or discouraging) you to do often determines what you actually do. It’s like peer pressure in high school. You want to fit in and not cause a scene, so you do what makes the most people happy.
The people around you can either bring you down, or pick you up. They can encourage you to be your best self, or they can encourage you to fit in with the crowd and ignore your dreams.
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” — Tim Ferriss
Tim says that very often. In fact, that’s what he considers to be his most important piece of advice. It’s a statement that is true for everyone.
I have seen this in my own life. My older brother was a grade above me in school. We had the same upbringing, the same parents, the same rules, the same disciplines. We even have similar levels of talent and intellect.
In high school, my five closest friends were ambitious students, always looking to learn more and push the boundaries of their knowledge. They performed well in the classroom, and followed the rules. I ended up doing really well in school.
My brother’s five closest friends, on the other hand, couldn’t have cared less about doing well in school. They caused my brother’s attitude towards learning and growing to wane. He ended up doing poorly in school, and dropped out of college.
Now, dropping out of college isn’t the worst thing. In fact, I would probably advise that to most. But, he didn’t drop out of college because he had ambitions of doing amazing things, he dropped out because he didn’t care about anything. He was in a dark time in his life.
A few short years later, he found new friends, a new church, a new girlfriend who encourages him, he has now finished college and has wild ambitions for the future. He has plans to leave his mark on this world and be successful.
He truly is a different person than he was 5 years ago, and it’s not just because of his own ambitions, it’s because his environment changed for the better.
If you’ve got friends who think your dreams are crazy, get new friends.
If you’ve got parents who tell you to live a normal life and get into debt to go to college, get new parents (kidding). Tell them you love them but you have big plans and goals for the future. They’ll come around when you show them the success you achieve.
If you live in a neighborhood filled with bad influences and poor conditions, move out.
If you are surrounded by negativity and complaining, go somewhere else.
Find friends that will encourage you to pursue your dreams and goals.
Hang out with successful people that are where you want to be in 5 years.
Find groups, a church, anyone who will have your back when the chips are down and celebrate with you when you win.
Read books written by successful people. Listen to their speeches and talks. Listen to podcasts that encourage you to grow and challenge yourself. Watch their videos. Follow them on social media.
Get around people that are going to get you to where you want to go. Don’t let anyone hold you back.