You are the average of the ten people with whom you spend the most time. That’s right. So do an accounting right now… What friends, family members, and co-workers do you hang out with every day or week? Do you want to be more like them…or less?
If, for example, you aspire to become an entrepreneur, have your own business, make a million dollars, and live a laptop lifestyle, but you spend your time with friends who are satisfied working at McDonald’s or the mattress store as salesmen, then you’re going to struggle to achieve your goal.
There’s nothing wrong with those types of jobs; don’t get me wrong. But if a person is satisfied with working for someone else, making minimum wage, striving for bonuses on sales, and living from paycheck to paycheck, that’s an entirely different aspiration than yours.
If you aspire to become successful not only at work but in your personal life as well, but you spend your evenings and weekend hanging around with people who only want to watch television or drink beer at the local pub, you’ll have a harder time realizing your dream. Their aspirations are different. For you to achieve your dream your time would be better spent talking about books you’ve read, attending personal growth workshops, and going to the gym with your buddies.
Your mindset and habits align with those of the people around you. Unconsciously, you modulate your behavior to match theirs to satisfy your need for acceptance and belonging. On a scale of one to ten (with ten being the highest), if your friends’ aspirations are at a level four and yours are at a 10. The more time you spend with them, the more your ambition level decreases or, at the least, doesn’t increase.
What are Growth Friends?
To achieve your dream, you need to spend time with people who uplift, motivate, and inspire you as well as support—and even help you achieve—it. Friends who fuel your aspirations are “growth friends.”
Growth friends are the kinds of people—family, friends, or coworkers—who raise you up. When they see your aspirations are a five, they want to increase your aspiration level. Possibly, they are already at a level ten (or higher) and want to help you get to ten and above. If they are also a five, they want to grow with you.Often, growth friends are growing in the same or similar ways. Even if they have different interests and goals, they are growing—and you can grow together and support each other’s growth efforts.
Find Growth Friends
If you don’t already have growth friends, find some. Look for friends with similar aspirations or dreams—like becoming a millionaire laptop lifestyle entrepreneur, the example used above. These people are learning and growing and striving to put their entrepreneurial abilities to the test (or to develop those skills). Maybe they are successful business people already—CEOs, CFOs, or run a startup company.
Growth friends are interested in personal development. They know that successful individuals in any industry or area of life continually develop and learn. These are people who might be more interested in taking an online course than watching sports in their free time. Or they might be more interested in traveling to expand their mind and have new experiences than sitting around the pool.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with sitting by a pool or watching some television. But the people who will help you level up and achieve your dreams are those who are striving, aspiring, and moving courageously, confidently, and enthusiastically toward their dreams as well.
If you are growth-minded, you need growth friends. If you don’t feel like you are growth-minded but you want to be, you need growth friends to push you along and help you become one. They can take you to personal growth events, suggest educational seminars, give you books to read and discuss topics that make you think in new ways.
How to Find Growth Friends
To find a group of growth friends, take the following three steps.
Step #1: Create a list of criteria for your growth friends.
What would you look for in new friends, if you chose to find some? What characteristics would your growth friends have? Would they have similar aspirations or jobs? Would they be farther along regarding reaching similar goals? Would they have different jobs, hobbies or interests?
For instance, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you may want to hang out with other people who are entrepreneurial. If you’ve never been into personal growth, maybe you want to find friends who have been personal growth “junkies” for a long time.
With whom would you enjoy spending time? What types of people would you find interesting and uplifting?
You make a list of all the qualities you want in your growth friends.
Step #2: Evaluate the ten people you spend the most time with now.
Evaluate your current friends using the criteria you developed. Do they meet these criteria? Who are they, and what are they like? What qualities do they possess?
For example, are they positive, striving, reaching for their goals? Or are they negative, stagnant, staying on a plateau? Are they taking action toward their dreams, or do they feel they can’t achieve their goals?
Step #3: Determine where to find your growth friends.
Where might you find people who meet the criteria you developed? Maybe they belong to specific associations or organizations. Maybe they like to run marathons or go horseback riding. You can often find like-minded people at MeetUp.com events.
You might meet people online through Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Then you can arrange to meet them in person.
Step #4: Take action.
Now, go to go to the meetings, join the associations, and email people, set up coffee dates—do whatever it takes to meet with these people on a regular basis.
Once you’ve taken these four steps, your growth friendships will develop naturally. Once you have a group of growth friends, you’ll begin to see the difference in your life. You’ll notice yourself leveling up, changing, growing, taking steps towards your dream. You’ll also feel more enthusiastic, confident, passionate, and charged.
I suppose you could say old friends are the most valuable. You could sing, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other, gold.” But in this case, the old friends who don’t help you grow are silver.; the growth friends are gold.
Make growth friends, and keep striving, aspiring and you will reach your dreams.
Do your growth friends make a difference in your life?
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