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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Are You The Average of Your 5 Friends?

As I was driving my friend home tonight turn to me and said "I must say, the Halloween party we attended, must have been one of the most happening scenes ..." Well to be honest I must say both events that I attended is by far the best organised events this year. The effort that some of these individuals put in was amazing. These people were full time working professionals and successful business owners, not just any random students trying to throw a party to have fun after the end of a semester. They stayed up and spend many hours decorating their place.

The place was so well decorated, everyone came in full Halloween costume, a lot of people crowded the Scary House ... food look like fingers, creative snake and ladder board game, face paint, mask, spiders and knifes sticking out, blood dripping, skulls, cobwebs everywhere ... I really have to salute them. There is only one word for describing staying up till 5am to prepare all these for a party, RESPECT.

When we think of Halloween we think of the colors black and orange. Images of carved pumpkins or Jack-O-Lanterns, bats, witches, black cats, spiders, skeleton and other scary creatures come to mind. Another friend actually took the effort of transforming her flat into spooky place, the less I could do is turn up dress for the occasion. When I said I am coming and I agree to do something, I will put in my best effort to make it great, and make sure everyone enjoys themselves. So I did succeed appearing as a scary cat, I had great response and overwhelming compliments. At the end of the day, my spontaneous face makeup paid off. 

Anyway I was invited into the Halloween group by pure coincidence, chatting with new friends. There is a price to pay for being too friendly and nice to others sometimes, people start calling me "The Party Gal" which is not true and a bit demeaning. I had my first hands on experience on how going out of my way to help others did serious damage to my health and reputation.

Every year, I have a few things on my bucket list which I try my best to accomplish before Christmas and the parties were not part of the plan, it came as a surprise. I had to improvise and make changes to the list every now and then. I do miss the old days where I had the freedom to just attend dinner, birthday parties, BBQ, clubbing, Friday drinks, weekend road trips, etc. Sadly I am still trying to figure out where I spend all my time. Work? Sleep? Maybe age is catching up on me.

I already have very close group of friends from university, previous and current church, badminton socials, connect group, work acquaintances, professional networks and not forgetting the big sister - little sister buddies aka "Heng Tai" and "Chi Mui". My group of network continue to expand. I am not complaining it is bad to have many friends, do we really need to socialize so frequently? Where do you stop? When do you not stop making friends? If you were to look back at your former self, let’s say 1-2 years ago, how much have you changed? Hopefully, each year of your life is different and better than the last.

As for me, my perception of reality, my level of abundance of adventures, my finances, my knowledge, my wisdom and random life skills have drastically evolved compared to a few years ago.
Let me ask you this though… Who are your friends? Are your friends the same as 3-4 years ago?
And more importantly…Have they made the same journey as well?
Over the few years many of my friends have fallen by the wayside, yet I have cultivated new friendships, and I have noticed some interesting consistent commonalities among the new ones.

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

I follow this rule carefully, choosing friends that align with my core values.

If you look at my closest 5-10 friends, it’s full of VERY successful entrepreneurs, all with amazing partners, all well travelled, well read, positive, hard working, healthy, straight up proper people.

At first I think the process of my social circle evolution was somewhat invisible, as I slowly started to realize how my friend’s positive traits became my own, I’ve gotten more selective. The random little thoughts that someone has, how they view the world and their experiences, are very different depending on if they are coming from a place of abundance or scarcity.

And I started developing stronger, healthier mindsets in the areas of health, fitness, financial abundance, and overall life productivity. I am now more productive than ever before, ultimately leading to the creation of this blog. I am eating close to 100% healthy foods, even pushing to find healthy choices while travelling, cutting carbs and slamming supplements.

I am running at the start of every alternate day, along with a few hours of reading and writing at night. I am trying to read a few more books every week, creating relationships with people from various walks of life, losing close to 10kg of weight, and feeling amazing from the amount of productivity I am accomplishing in my life.

The past week is like a renaissance back to that time when I was single again.

I’m here in sitting in bed every night and my only goal when planning this mission trip was to add another “notch” on my belt for China and enjoy as much sun as I can now before I head there for to embrace a freezing winter.

It’s funny how things happen the way they do.

The blog is really starting to take off, subscriptions are up, traffic is increasing, and every event I attend, people are sharing about their life experiences. One of the biggest benefits of this is being in close proximity to someone living the life, seeing their thought processing, putting on the creative thinking cap and achieving WHAT IS POSSIBLE!

Thanks again to all my readers!
Just the experience of seeing and listening to what is possible in your life 
is true motivation to keep me posting on my blog every week.

Once you see what is possible, it becomes real, and you can piece it into your own reality, especially if you have constant exposure to someone living the life, imagine having financial freedom for life, imagine volunteering for any organisation and not worrying about upcoming bills. I meet this group of people in the party and it gave us a window of opportunity, to share our charities with each other .

BUT ... if the only people you surround yourself with are negative, scarcity minded people, you will start to focus on the things that they constantly stress and reinforce. If all you hear about is how bad the economy is, how shitty someone’s girlfriend is, how your friend is only living pay check to pay check, how hard someone finds it to lose weight, how there is never any extra time or money for a gym membership, or travel to a new city; you are going to unconsciously start to pick up similar beliefs.

BUT ... if you surround yourself with friends that hold themselves to higher standards, almost borderline insane optimism about their life goals, whether it be financial success, success with men/women, a life of adventures, of stories, of travelling and countries visited, or living a long and healthy existence…It rubs off.
You start to assimilate their thought processes, and start to view YOUR reality in a way similar to your friends.

Bottom line: If the main topic of conversation you have with your friends is not how you can better yourself, you need to get new friends.

What to do with old friends?
I’m not saying to start shunning any of your long-lost friends, or to drop anyone who isn’t a millionaire.
As long as you have friends that empower you, motivate you, and CELEBRATE when you succeed as opposed to resorting to belittling your accomplishments, or outright DENYING them, there is no reason to cut someone out.

If you have friends that hold you back, force you into your “old choke self,” or harbor ANY kind of negativity, expunge them as quickly as possible.

I am eternally grateful for being able to meet some of the coolest, most successful people out there, and I’m happy to call them my friends. Many of you who read this, know who you are.
It’s motivated me, taught me valuable lessons, and allowed me to experience a life beyond anything I could have imagined a few years ago.

How to cultivate these relationships?
Offer mutual value! Be honest to one another.
Someone asked me recently asking how to find a mentor or a best friend.
I explained that some of it comes down to pure luck, meeting the right person at the right time.

If you get lucky enough to find someone you can learn from, soak it in, and APPLY yourself so that they see you are working hard, appreciating the mentoring process, and diligently putting the time in.

And also know how to turn it off.
There is a time for questions, and a time to just sit back and drink a beer with a friend.  Constant bombarding questions quickly triggers red flags, value leeching!
I start to feel like the other person is just objectively USING me, as opposed to authentically trying to learn, you know what I mean trying to gain more benefits compared to legitimately looking for something to better them.

Sincerely thanks to Brad Banson, Tina Su and Buford Taylor for sharing their thoughts.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those Halloween organizers, cleaning up after would be such a pain. But seriously thank you for the invitation, thoughts, effort and hardwork. Now all you need to do is focus on "Igniting Your Spiritual Passion", God will bless those who are a blessing to others. Amen.