There’s that popular saying: “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This has resulted in different applications of the premise: mastermind groups, brain trusts, meetups…
The general idea for mastermind groups is to find the smartest people you know. The downside of that is: if the world would be filled with mastermind groups structured that way, then there’ll be a great imbalance of people who are willing to learn and those willing to teach.
That realization helped me arrive to three categories which would guide me about the kind of people who I’d let influence my thinking:
1. People who I could learn from
Maybe it’s a person who has managed to streamline their mailing list and instead of aiming to find more people to sign up, the goal is to whittle the list down to ‘true fans‘. Particularly people who appreciate the content (and better yet — consistently apply that content in their day to day).
2. People who are experiencing similar things
Even if it’s a moment of asking myself the question: If I were advising myself in this scenario. What would I say? Would I encourage more self-care? Am I being unnecessarily tough on myself?
3. People who are interested in getting to where I am
A while back, I shared one of my pieces to a new contact, and was surprised to hear from him that someone he knows actually came across it and that it helped facilitate a decision. Since then I’ve learned to take each moment (particularly those resulting in euphoria or pain) and putting into context for someone who might encounter a similar situation.
Most times I find myself focusing too much on the things I can improve, that I forget to celebrate how far I’ve come. It is interesting that I find myself also a reader of them. For example, as I started on this piece, I felt myself getting stuck. Then I referred to a previous entry and my mind easily clicked on to how I need to tackle the next sentences (or what was missing).
I eventually molded this to a number that works for me: fifteen. Five for each category. Easy rule of thumb to be reminded of where my focus should be.
With so many inputs vying for our attention every minute of the day (this is why I only aim to have native apps on my phone), it’s easy to get carried by the moment. I find that having some sort of structure on the kind of people I should focus my time on, helps me conserve my mental energy.
Easy right? Every interaction, I just ask myself a simple question: Is this person part of my fifteen?