Iron Sharpens Iron. Like one friend sharpens the life of a friend.
To preface now I am hardly what you call a ‘religious person’ however I still get a lot of value from passages and quotes of life and lessons from the Bible. It has many interesting stories about life & living. This passage has always been a very powerful influence for me and become a tagline for what I believe in. Essentially, it demonstrates the strength of mindset, and how your mindset influences and builds reciprocally in relationships.
If you want to become strong, hang with strong people. If you want to be smart, hang with smart people. Or, if your goal is to be rich and successful, have friends who are rich and successful. Jim Rohn, mentor of Tony Robbins, one of the most renowned performance coaches going around once said “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
On the flip-side people can blunt your life, waste your time, or just generally kill your life essence as demonstrated in the book ‘48 Laws of Power’ by Robert Greene. Law 10, Infection: Avoid the unhappy and unlucky. The mindset of whining, misfortune and negativity will become yours given enough time and exposure. People should treat those with this negativity like a disease. Either help them to cure this negativity from their lives or, if you deem them incurable, dismiss them from your life. Only associate with those who have a positive impact on your life, or those you can have a positive impact on.
So take great care who your friends are as the traits of the people who surround you in your environment will be absorbed. Both good and bad.
In saying that, you don’t need to drop everyone in your life as soon as they start having a bad day, or, immediately go searching for the strongest people in Australia to start hanging out with in the hope that some of their talent rubs off on you. You should always have a mix of people in your life, but keep focused on their mindset, approach and outlook and make sure it matches up with yours. Sometimes, it is only through coaching and helping others to become better at skills you already possess that you begin to better understand the fundamentals of your own development, and ultimately accelerate your progress. At the same time, you should also focus on getting pulled along by those ahead of you will help raise your ceiling and having people near your level will keep you fired up and invigorated in the grinding process.
Thoughts and the subconscious is a powerful thing. We are easily ‘primed’ to think certain ways if we let external influences dictate our thoughts. ‘Thinking Fast & Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman tells a story of a study of just how easily this happens.
“A classic priming experiment was one in which college students had been asked to form various sentences from a given set of words. Those in one group were given words that included several associated with older people (like bingo, gray and Florida). Those in a second group were given words with no such associations. After the linguistic exercise, each participant was instructed to leave the building by walking down a hallway. Without letting the participants know what was going on, the experimenters timed their walks down the hall. They found that those in the group given words associated with old people walked significantly slower than those in the other group. The first group had been primed to walk more slowly.”
So ensure you ‘prime’ yourself with strong, positive thoughts. Your thoughts will literally lead into your actions that will dictate your life.
- Externally surround yourself with people who will help you become your best self.
- Spend time helping others, push those who are ahead of you, and work with those who are at your level
- ‘Prime’ yourself with positive thoughts. Try ‘Think & Grow Rich,’ Remember “if you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right”.
What Mindset Do You Hold?