The 5 People Exercise

“You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time around.” - Jim Rohn

Most of us know this, but have you actually taken the time to pinpoint who you spend most of your time with? Have you pinpointed the areas in which you want to grow yourself the most? Most importantly, have you compared your desired areas of growth to the strengths of the individuals you spend your time with? I think it is an important exercise to perform so you understand if the people closest to you are actually helping you become a better individual, based on your own personal definition of "better" that is.

I personally took on this exercise, and I am so grateful I did. It allowed me to see the actions I needed to take to optimize my social circles and become a better me. After reading the results of my exercise, I invite you to do the same. A few minutes of honest reflection could change your life.

Exercise Overview:

I started out by defining the five specific traits that I want to live and breathe throughout my everyday. In order to discover which traits I wanted to encapsulate, I first had to define my goals and reverse engineer them to dial in on the attributes I believe will get me to them.

1. Drive

2. Permission-less mindset

3. Passion

4. Effective communicative abilities

5. Optimism

I then listed out the five people I listen to/converse with the most, alongside their most defining trait from my perspective. When thinking about which individuals I spent the most time with, I did not limit myself to the people I physically interact with. In today's society, we communicate with individuals through various online mediums. So, I not only thought about people who I physically interacted with, but I thought about the individuals I communicate with on social media, the bloggers I read consistently, and the podcast hosts I listen to frequently. All of which are voices, personalities, and ideas that influence my character.

1. My Partner, Anna - Driven

2. Founder of Praxis, Isaac Morehouse - Innovative

3. Successful Dropout, Kylon Gienger - Passionate

4. Praxis Director of Education, T.K. Coleman - Effective Communicator

5. Direct Supervisor and running partner, Aaron - Optimistic

After I concluded my two lists, I then took a moment to compare the two. My goal was to find areas of either overlap or difference between the lists.

Areas of Overlap:

1. My desire to enhance my driven nature is fueled by the driven nature of my partner, Anna, who continuously emanates a prestigious work-ethic. I speak with her every day as well as work on projects with her, giving me ample opportunity to acquire more of this trait she possesses.

2. The permission-less mindset that I strive to filter my life through is embodied by the entrepreneurial-minded individual, Isaac Morehouse. Isaac has founded two companies despite the enormous odds placed against him. When he sees a problem, he builds a solution. He doesn't wait for permission, he follows his gut and creates value regardless of the naysayers. Not only does he influence me as I go through the Praxis Program, but I consume his podcast and blog posts weekly.

3. The desire to follow my passions is parallel to the nature of the podcast host, Kylon Gienger. Kylon displays an enormous amount of passion for living your life with intention, ditching the status quo, and paving your own path. His podcast fuels me to keep pushing to pursue my goals. I listen to him frequently, allowing his passionate nature to influence my drive to build and accomplish things that I am passionate about.

4. My pursuit of effective communicative skills is in line with the easily digestible content that T.K. continues to produce. His podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs, and emails exhibit high levels of intelligence, fluidity, and tact. By constantly consuming the work he produces, I have begun to improve the way I approach all forms of communication.

5. The optimistic nature I strive to possess is in correlation to the nature of my Supervisor, Aaron. He is always optimistic and never lets the obstacles he faces deter him from pursuing his goals. I work with him almost daily, allowing me to feed off of his relentlessly optimistic nature as I push to achieve my goals.

Once I found areas of overlap, I struggled to find areas of difference. I realized that the people I allow to influence me are all individuals that enhance the traits I strive to possess. By knowing this, I can continue to interact with them, knowing they are growing me in the direction I want to grow. However, it also has allowed me to better understand the nature of the individuals that do possess these traits. So as I move forward in life and meet new individuals, I will have a better grasp on what to look out for when deciding if I should allow certain people to influence me.

So are you challenged and inspired by those around you? Do you respect them? I invite you to perform this exercise and find out. If you discover you aren't, find a way to make it so.