Five Ways to Surround Yourself With Great People
Published: March 15, 2016
It’s tough to do it on your own. Whether business, family, personal or spiritual, trying to move forward without help can be a tremendous challenge.
Everybody can benefit from the support, guidance, energy and encouragement of others. And other people can bring skills and perspectives that you have not developed.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” - Jim Rohn
This well-known saying might be a bit of a simplification but it points to the fact that those around you influence how you feel and how you act. Our environment plays a major role in our state of mind.
“It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.” - unknown
OK, that’s just funny.
Think about the areas of your life that could benefit from having a support system. Your own personal infrastructure of people with your best interests in their heart. If you are having challenges or if you know you could be doing better, then is it possible that you are being held back by the people around you.
What areas of your life could benefit from greatness?
There are always other people that have different strengths then we do, are more skilled in a particular discipline or have a unique perspective. If you could reach out to the right person right now, whether you currently know them or not, could any of these areas of your life improve?
- financial situation
- psychological well-being
- stress and anxiety levels
- health and fitness
- level of happiness
- sense of community
- better family relationships
- business success
Are you around greatness now?
And what happens when you are not around greatness? At worst they impede and sabotage your efforts. Or, they may not actively try and hold you back, but they won’t inspire you to improve. They reinforce the status quo, perhaps for self serving reasons like jealousy.
As mentioned in this post:
"Truth be told, life is too wonderful and short to waste time with people who don't treat you right. So surround yourself with people who inspire you to smile. People who help you up when you're down. People who wouldnever take advantage of you. People who are honest and genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through."
If the people around you are not helping you soar like an eagle, then there is value in introducing some new people and relationships into your life.
What is meant by “great” people?
It depends on your perspective. There is a distinction between people who made a great achievement, and are therefore considered to be “great” by some, and people of great character. They are not necessarily the same. There are many people that have achieved their goals that are not good humans.
The people around you are great for you because they help you grow from where you are to where you want to be. These people have attributes and characteristics that we can aspire to and wish to incorporate into our lives. By having them as part of our circle they become part of us.
Some great qualities and attributes:
- Authentic, honest and true to themselves
- Ability to commit to a cause
- Passionate about what they do
- Compassionate toward others
- Give more than they take
- Work to master their craft
- Understand the value of trust and character
- Listen more than they talk
- Optimistic about opportunities
- Able to make hard decisions
Here is another excellent list. Making a list is easy. Turning it into a reality in our lives that is hard.
Being around great people can elevate your professional and personal performance. Here are five easy steps that will help you build a network of great people:
1. Start with a clear objective
"A goal without a plan is just a wish"
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
If we want to be surrounded by greatness, then it will require assessment and action. It’s unlikely that it will happen by chance. Who is in your circle of influence now? If you could choose the type of people you would have around you, who would they be? Why those particular people? What will they do for you? What will you do for them?
Make an assessment of where you are and where you want to go. The next steps will flow from there.
2. Get involved and be where the people are
Great people are everywhere but you need to find them.
If you have identified what type of people you would like to have around you, that can guide you on where to get involved. Maybe you are looking for a group of like-minded people. Maybe you need completely different influences. It depends on your situation.
You can get more involved with something you are already familiar with or, perhaps, you accept the challenge of doing something "outside the box". The comfortable option is not always the right option. Actually, it rarely is.
If your town or city doesn’t offer what you need. Are you able to move? It can be scary and seem complicated, and it’s usually easier when we are younger with fewer responsibilities, but it might just be what is required.
3. Practice The Rule of Reciprocity
People that exhibit great characteristics want to be around others that can contribute to their life. That is one of their secrets to being an over-achiever in business, having peace and joy in their lives and getting the most from each day.
So, are you the type of person that they will want to associate with? How can you be an inspiration to others? Focus on genuinely giving without an expectation of receiving in return. People have a great BS meter and can see through a lack of authenticity.
The rule of reciprocity will attract people to you.
4. Remove negativity from your life
The reality is that in order to have more supportive, positive and inspirational people around you, you need to assess who you are currently associating with. If we become the average of the five people around us (or whatever the actual math might be), then it stands to reason that the fewer negative influences, then the higher the average.
Are people lifting you up or bringing you down? Can you count on them? Do they make you a better person?
If those around you are not making you better, then do they need to be in your life? It might seem harsh, but keep in mind the objective of being surrounded by greatness.
“Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company”
- Booker T. Washington
Sometimes our circumstances with friends, family and co-workers make it very difficult to cut ties entirely. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have conversations around the relationship expectations and how to make it better. Or, find ways to reduce your exposure to those negative influences.
5. Use technology to develop & strengthen relationships
Much has been written about how technology is isolating us from each other. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Regardless of where you live, how restricted your ability to pick up and move, or what your interests are, the internet offers a wealth of opportunity to connect with great people around the world.
Your community doesn’t need to be limited only to those that you can meet face to face. There is a community for you somewhere. The internet can absolutely help you in your quest to associate with, and stay connected to, people that can elevate you to new heights.
Surrounding yourself with great people can help you lead a better life. It will take some assessment of those around you, and of yourself. And it will take some work and some courage. But you have one life, so what is the alternative?
What great qualities do you value most? We would love to know. Leave us a comment if you have a moment.