“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ― Jim Rohn
Take a few minutes and ponder that statement. I think you’ll find that it’s largely accurate. We’re social beings, and it’s not surprising that our environment in many ways dictates our behavior.
It’s true in small ways, like the mannerisms and gestures we make while we’re talking.
But it’s true in big ways, too. What’s your mindset when you face a challenge…do you look for ways to overcome it? Or do you look for reasons to quit? If your time is spent by people with a defeated, losing mentality…it’s going to be hard for you not to adopt a similar mindset.
Here’s what to DO with this information: start being more selective about who you spend your time with. Intentionally choose to spend your time with people who bring out the best in you. Look for people who inspire you, who help you solve problems, who encourage you to keep going even when things are difficult. Look for people who energize you and help you look at challenges from multiple perspectives. Look for people who know how to take big ideas and turn them into step-by-step plans for success.
On the other hand, protect yourself from negativity. Limit the time you spend with people who are constantly whining and complaining, people who refuse to accept responsibility for anything, and people who throw in the towel when things get tough. In particular avoid people who are cynical and full of reasons why big ideas WON’T work but don’t have any big ideas of their own.
As lawyers, chances are you spend a LOT of time with people in that second category. Law school and the practice of law has taught many lawyers to be negative, to look for problems rather than solutions, and to demand precedent before doing pretty much anything. That’s fine, while you’re actually practicing law. But if you let that type of thinking seep into the rest of your life, like most lawyers do, you’re putting yourself on the fast track towards a miserable career and an unhappy life.
Who are you spending your time with?