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Know your circle: Why you need the right people to get to the right places

You’re going to have to be picky about your friend group if you want to go far in life. I’m talking pretentious, Regina George, “mean girls” picky with your selection process — basically be a snob about who you surround yourself with. Often when talking about the sacrifices of success, the cold-blooded, sociopathic necessities get left out.

Yes, it’s going to take working on off days, getting up earlier, and choosing the more difficult path, but it also takes recognition of the who’s in your life and a willingness to uproot them when necessary.

We’ve heard it over and over again in a variety of ways: birds of a feather flock together, who you spend your time with you become, you are an average of the five people we spend the most time with, and so on and so forth.

But for a lot of us, these warnings are nothing more than white noise. There’s no real vetting process when it comes to the people we allow or continue to remain in our lives, and that’s half the battle when it comes to achieving success.

I think what makes adjusting our personal circle hard for a lot of us is the act of letting people go. Especially when it comes to friends, whether that individual contributes to our success our not, we want to keep them around.

In part it’s because finding people you can relate to and trust is hard, but a lot of the times it’s because we’re afraid of being alone. It all comes down to how serious we are about success and being aware of all which detracts from it.

If we treat success like professional athletes treat their bodies, we would have been cut people out of our lives. There’s an obsessive attention to detail that must take place when in pursuit of greatness that includes the people we’re close to.

If the habits don’t line up, the influence isn’t productive and the visions aren’t at least remotely parallel, an executive decision must be made.

Building a habit everyday

Expertise is achieved though consistent repetition (or as we like to call it 10K80). A habitual lifestyle allows you to hone practice so you can execute with the highest quality.

If the people you’re around enable bad habits or don’t encourage good ones, what place do they have in close proximity to you?

It doesn’t matter how long homie from grade school has had your back or how many times ol’ girl rolled one for you. The crazy times you guys shared in college and your wing-woman should fade as that lifestyle does.

If you’re chasing something bigger than anyone you know, then there are probably things you do that no one else is doing. Until you find people who assimilate to any new behavior or match your level of commitment, they’re nothing but distractions.

Appreciate them from afar and do what needs to be done to get where you need to go.

Curating the positive influences in your life

Surrounding yourself with the right people goes beyond just their habits, too.

Even after you’ve dropped the bad habits and your lifestyle change was respected, if their influence still doesn’t contribute to the bigger picture, their presence alone would still be an endangerment to how far you go in life.

Since infancy we’ve been mimicking others. We pick up on what our parents say, what our friends think is cool, and even to how we handle different situations. That doesn’t change when we’re older.

We can depend on our focus, but only for so long. When we’re lacking or when we’re feeling weak, we’re going to need the people standing next to us to give us something tangible to draw influence from. That’s not going to be your best friend who sells weed or your cousin who lives with him mom, no matter how long they’ve had your back.

We can be on point for 90 percent of the time but in moments of weakness, if our circle has nothing edifying for us, we’ll slip into a lifestyle that directly opposes where we’re supposed to be going.

What we do everyday has a direct influence on somebody. Our habits and how we go about life is impressionable. So, if you show work ethic, yet you’re only seeing laziness around you, the give and take dynamic is off balance.

How do I do this?

Having the right people in you life comes down to a decision. A decision for yourself, a decision for your future and a decision for your friends.

It doesn’t always mean shedding them or deleting phone numbers as much as it’s an effort of limiting interaction and time spent. But most importantly, it’s what you do rather than what you say.

If you’re serious about a lifestyle change and you begin moving in a way that organically limits the time you spend with an individual, it’ll be something they bring up. Then you’ll have the perfect opportunity to communicate the energy level you’re on.

What’s cool is that most times you’ll be giving space to fail — usually new lifestyles don’t stick. But when you do stick it out, they’ll either respect it and be the friend you need or emulate your focus.

It’s tough, but you have to picky about the people you’re around. You don’t deserve to be a prisoner to the friends you’ve had you’re entire life, especially if they’re holding you back. You’re not subject to loyalty when it’s not contributing to where you want to go.

It’s time for phrases like “arm sharpens arm” to be taken more than a cute antidote. It’s time that we become intentional about our personnel. Team is important; so recruit them wisely and know your circle.