It is a fact that man is very likely to be influenced. That is how we survived in the first place: by learning from others through imitation. Plato too agreed that imitation is one of the main ways in which a child is educated.
The crux of the matter is that you, no matter how individual, exist within the context of a social cycle and you will invariably make an identity for yourself using the elements of that social cycle.
That is, in simple terms, your identity is derived from the common pool of behavioral elements of your closest group of people. And this tendency of adapting to and from others has not gone unrecognized in the corporate world.
“You are an average of five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Going from that, if you surround yourself with high achieving, positive, upbeat people, it will definitely reflect on your own character after a while.
And on the contrary, surround yourself with negative, lackadaisical people and things WILL invariably take a turn for the worse!
“Let your grind be a reflection of the standards that you have set for yourself.” – Tony Robbins
Now this definitely doesn’t mean being unreasonably ambitious or unwisely greedy about possessions or positions beyond your reach.
It means that if you think you are stuck in life, in a badly stagnant way, try to make some changes to your peer environment. The act of making a conscious choice to change your environment can be beneficial on the path to success.
Tim Sanders, the former director of Yahoo said: “Your network is your net worth.” And it’s logical. Think of it this way; since peer influence will change you, it can be used as a resource.
There is a saying in India, which translates to: “Walk with a saint and you reach heaven, walk with a sinner and ruin awaits you.”
The crowd that you surround yourself with is what you will become in time. Motivation, positivity and hard work are like yawns; they are contagious.
As an empirical example, think of a work space where 80% of the workers are hard-working, positive and efficient. The rest are lazy and inefficient. Now the minority cannot survive in the space by spewing out less and lower-quality work now, can they? They would either have to adapt and increase their efficiency for their work to be accepted or just leave. In the end, all 100% of the remaining workers will be highly motivated and very productive.
Same would be as if we switched it up. If 80% of the workers were lazy and 20% were very hard working. The overall team effort and output will be low quality. The high achievers will either lower their standards or be fed up with their team that lacks effort and quit.
Tricky part is, laziness, negativity and tardiness too are things that are equally contagious. If the percentages were reversed, the consequences would have been dire for the work-space.
Surrounding yourself with people who aren’t motivated to achieve higher and better things will never provide you with motivation to improve your own state; on the other hand, surrounding yourself with people who are highly motivated will help you realize that you too have a lot more growing and improving to do and stimulate you to do exactly that. You will succeed much quicker and in better ways than you have expected.
Winning a jackpot doesn’t promise lifetime happiness. Even after winning a big amount of money, that doesn’t help people control what is happening in their lives or makes a big change in them.
The habits that you commit to every day life are what will bring a greater positive impact on your life. When you surround yourself with people who help you grow and be better, you’ll have greater gains. Surrounding yourself with people that better you will help you better reach your goals. Ever heard of the saying “couples who live together for a long time start becoming each other”? Kind of a similar scenario we are talking about here.
Find friends and relationships that bring out the best in you by association; seek connections with people who are as good as you if not better, and associate, interact and socialize with them.
In time, you will see how you too are slowly but surely becoming a better version of yourself.