Recently over dinner with friends, the subject of personal success came up. Although the discussion was short it got me thinking about what I thought made my life successful. What goals had I achieved so far? What goals did I hope to accomplish in the future? How do I define and measure my own personal success? I think it’s common for most people to define their personal success in terms of their educational or professional accomplishments. For me, though, they aren’t the first things that come to mind. My educational and professional accomplishments certainly add to my overall feelings of accomplishment, but I guess it just seems so ordinary and boring. I want my personal success to be defined more abstractly; I want it to be more meaningful.
Randomly and out of boredom, I decided to check out a blog that Gretchen had talked about in her Happiness Project, LifeHacker. The first article that popped up was How The People Around You Affect Personal Success. I loved this article because in both my professional and personal life I’ve made it a priority to maintain a positive outlook and upbeat approach to everything I do. When you’re surrounded by negativity, it’s easy to get sucked in and that’s exactly what I don’t want to happen. The author of this article believes, wholeheartedly, that the people you surround yourself with contribute a great deal to your personal success or failure. His premise is that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So, in a 24 hour day, you probably spend time with some family or friends and co-workers. Of all of them, who are the ones that are incredibly happy, achieving their goals, and inspiring you to chase your dreams? Those are the people you want to surround yourself with and as soon as you do, you’re bound to think, act, and do in bigger ways – which ultimately increases your personal success. My favorite quotes from the author:
-You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose accordingly.
-Don’t be afraid to lose some friends, support from your family, or anything else if that means you start surrounding yourself with the right people.
-Don’t be the average of average people.