When I was a kid in elementary school, I was big into basketball. I used to think that I’d play in the NBA.
(Apparently a 5’11” Asian-Canadian with average athleticism isn’t likely to make it to the league…who knew?)
My elementary school was blessed with an outdoor basketball court. So before school, during recess, at the lunch hour and after school I would play basketball.
I wanted to be good…like Michael Jordan good… so I did something – unknowingly at the time – that really helped me accelerate the process…
I played with the older kids.
You see, we had a really good basketball program at my elementary school. And being an absolute beginner, I knew that the best way for me to get better was to play with those who were better than me.
So I “forced” my way onto the court when the big kids needed an extra player.
The older kids were awesome. They were better skilled, they were physically developed and they had been playing together for at least 2 years.
So even though I knew I’d get pushed around a little, I took my licks and kept on going.
I just wanted to be around those whose skills were better than mine because I thought that was the fastest way to get better. And it was.
Before I knew it, I was a starter on the basketball team as a 6th grader. All because I chose to surround myself with people that were better than me to elevate my own level of play.
Little did I know, that I took that lesson with me in almost everything that I do.
This past week, for example, I was away with my family at a cottage in Quebec with some of my business friends and their families.
We used to call this mini-vacation a “mastermind” but now it’s just a gathering of friends – of like-minded people – who share ideas and have each other’s backs.
We are all at different levels in our businesses – some of us making 6-figures per year, while others are now in the 7-figure or flirting with the 8-figure range.
I tell you this not to brag, but to understand the same concept…
We formed this group to help elevate each other’s “game”.
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
We started to meet purely for business reasons and then relationships evolved into friendships and now I would trust my life with some of these guys.
We knew that spending a week with like-minded people who share the same views not only about business but about life would make each other better.
My wife saw this first hand especially at night when, after we put the kids to bed, we would all gather around the table enjoying each other’s company in deep conversation.
Over wine (and sometimes scotch & ice cream), the topic would go from health, to fitness, to mindset, to productivity, to money management where each person – husbands and wives – contributed something of value to the conversation.
So even though we were up late and getting up early, we came home rejuvinated and refreshed with optimism.
THAT is what friends should be doing for you.
The people you spend time with have EVERYTHING to do with who you are as a person.
We should be making an effort to bring each other up and not have the “crabs in a bucket” mentality.
So how can you elevate your game?
Maybe it’s time to find a training partner or coach to get the results you want in the gym.
Maybe to start that business you’ve always wanted to start you need to hang out with others who have gone through the same thing before.
Maybe you need to limit your time with friends or colleagues that don’t share your mindset of abundance and try to find others that have the same mentality that you do.
Regardless of what you do, understand that who you choose to spend your time with has a huge effect not only on your day, but on your life.
So choose to be around those that elevate you and make you better.
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