My Mate Tim

You are the sum…

You may have heard the phrase you are what you think about most of the time: food, sex, anger, sport, fear, joy. The Buddha is apparently the first to have coined that phrase. Jim Rohn is quoted as saying:  “You‘re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. Well if that’s true then one of them doesn’t even know it. And he lives on another continent. Let me explain…

Audio books and podcasts have been revelations to me over the past 3 to 4 years. They’ve kept me sane on commutes to and from work on public transport, plus I learnt a thing or two. Or three. From IM Talk – a podcast about all things Ironman triathlon – to Start Up about the world of business start ups, by a start up business – Gimlet Media – and into personal and business development. This brought me in a round-a-bout way to a long form podcasts – generally over an hour in length – by the man who brought the world “The Four Hour Work Week”, Tim Ferris. He’s produced several other books including “The Four Hour Chef” and “The Four Hour Body”. Are you noticing a trend? Actually they are more complex and interesting than that.

Tim Ferris

But his long form podcasts include interviews with such luminaries as Ariana Huffington, Richard Branson, Reid Hoffman, Malcolm Gladwell and Marie Kondo. I have spent so many hours with Tim over the last 12 months I feel like I know him intimately – but that is the nature if podcasting. As he himself says of his belief we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, they don’t need to be in front of you or even alive. Tim himself has spent a lot of time reading Ben Franklin – one of the founding fathers of the U.S. – known as an author, inventor, philosopher and scientist to name but a few of his interests.

Whether you spend time with a lot of negative people, or hugely optimistic, adventurous or sporty, may not just indicate your environment but your likes, your choices and what you’re willing to accept. In some cases family and work make that harder and there are always competing feelings – of responsibility, doing the right thing etc. But this is simply an exercise in awareness and the impact that those closest to you have on you as a person, your view of the world, and how you interpret it.

So, give it some thought, who do you spend the most time with, what do you learn, gain, or absorb from those relationships? And most importantly, do those relationships keep you down, leave you flat or build you up?


Categories: Personal DevelopmentTags: , , , , , , , , ,

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