"You are the average of the five closest relationships you keep."
I was told something similar to this as a kid. I still think about the validity of the statement as an adult though. When you really step back and think about who you are as a person, you can often correlate the results you are achieving, the life you are living, the success or lack thereof to the people you spend your time with. It is just as important to surround yourself with greatness as it is to limit time with those who would bring you down.
When I was in high school, I started lifting weights in order to add some muscle. I didn't like lifting with people that I was stronger than, though. I really liked lifting with people who pushed me to be a better version of myself, to work harder, to stay at the gym longer, and to not settle for just a descent workout. I wanted an incredible workout and that was what surrounding myself with people who were better than me provided. When I went into business, I began seeking out people who were already where I wanted to be. I would buy them lunch or coffee in order to spend a little time around them and soak up wisdom. I believe that each of us needs to seek out people that shift our thinking for the better.
I have a group of guys that I take a weekend mastermind retreat with every year. The first year, I paid for a lot of what we did, even though it was a big stretch financially. Half a decade into the mastermind weekends now, each of us is further along in life than we could have imagined on that first trip. The concept of the mastermind is that we need to open our minds to learn from the best, to teach what we can teach and learn what we can learn, striving to help the others in the group achieve more in life. The weekend is awesome, but you don't really have to wait until 1 weekend a year to do this.
In Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich, he talked about his invisible council that made up his daily mastermind. He had a variety of people whose characteristics, values, and drive made up the ideal version of himself. I have practiced this invisible council hundreds of times over the years and have found it to be an incredible experience. You simply put yourself in a relaxed state and then visualize the people who embody the characteristics you wish to master, asking each to impart their wisdom and their character into who you are. You then focus on becoming the best of each of the people in your council.
What is it that they believe about themselves and life?
What has been their strategy to achieve success?
What feedback would they give you about how you are living that could enhance your ability to succeed?
These are the same three questions I ask and answer with my mastermind, whether the invisible council or the real leaders I do my weekend retreat with. Both challenge me regularly to live more fully into my potential.
I would challenge you to surround yourself with greatness, with people who have the character and values that you intend to embody in your future. Then, strive to believe what they believe, use the strategies they use, and open yourself up to feedback that would pull you into that greatness!
Embrace the power of the mastermind!