“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
This is the quote that started my journey to being an average. Before I discovered Jim Rohn I was a teenager in a single parent family, without realising it at the time I was the average of Batman, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Blackadder & Fry & Laurie. I was a person who defaulted to being a loner, wanted justice for all and had a sarcastic sense of humour, an eclectic mix!
Those five influences actually did me well until I began to realise that certain family members and friends were affecting my thoughts and outlook on life more negatively. These people were victims in the world, determined to take me on their journey to misery and depression. I didn’t know what to do, I knew I was being affected though they were family and friends. I was reading the 48 Laws of Power by this time and came across Law 10: INFECTION: AVOID THE UNHAPPY AND UNLUCKY
I didn’t want to have to avoid my family and the friends who were unhappy and unlucky were not actually my close friends. So step one was to stop spending time with friends that were not my close friends, this part was easy. On the family side it was more tricky, I went back to the 7 Habits of highly effective people and started work on programming my brain to consciously not be like family members that were unhappy and miserable. I tried to help them and be there, while at the same time not get infected by their misery, I still do this today as some people refuse to change.
Recognize the fortunate so that you may choose their company and the unfortunate so that you may avoid them. Misfortune is usually the crime of folly, and among those who suffer from it there is no malady more contagious: Never open your door to the least of misfortunes, for, if you do, many others will follow in its train… Do not die of another’s misery. (Baltasar Gracian, 1601-1658)
I started to lean towards spending time with more fortunate people, I moved to a different part of the country and started working at Electronic arts where I was surrounded by passionate, talented people, some of whom I’m still close friends with today.
The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it – Marcus Aurelius
Nowadays depending on what I’m swaying towards learning and mastering, I want to be able to spend time with great writers, motivational speakers, great thinkers, food experts, health guru’s and more. My career exposes me to many great people, though not across all of these fields, so what do I do?
I spend lots of time in books and listening to podcasts. Serious time, I average 20% of my waking day spent with others virtually through books and podcasts. Doing this continually rewires my brain and I continue to be a healthier, more grateful and open minded person than I would be without this. I’m also mastering new skills, some conscious and some unconscious, it’s a wonderful thing.
I carefully pick my 5 each year, for the last 12 months the 5 people I spend regular time with are:
  1. Tim Ferriss
  2. Malcolm Gladwell
  3. Debbie Millman
  4. Stephen J Dubnar
  5. Marcus Aurelius
I’m a better writer, thinker and more positive person than I’ve ever been before. These people are incredible and outside of Marcus Aurelius who passed away many years ago, I hope one day to meet them all and thank them personally.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think – Buddha
If you don’t have in person access to people who could shape your thoughts and life positively, if you want to take greater control of outcomes and start a positive ripple in the world…then read more from inspirational authors, listen to great people via podcasts, reach out to real people who can change the average of your thinking. You’ll be amazed at the results, I have been and am grateful for my continuous journey.

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