History lesson time! The famous Jim Rohn famously said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” End of history lesson.
For your homework today, I want you to sit down and consider the relationships you maintain. Are they productive? By that, I mean are you getting something out of the relationship? I don’t mean just tangible stuff like money and things. I mean “does this relationship help you feel better or drive you to grow as an individual?” Think about that. Maybe these people are more like drama llamas who sap your energy and expect you to save them from every crisis. Yet, between every crisis, they emphasize “Oh I don’t do drama.” Yeah ok…
I keep a very small, tight network of friends. I know a lot of people and can get along with a wide variety of furries. I love to learn from them and see how their lives are progressing too. Fursuit makers and artists are especially cool since I love how they turned art into a way to make a living for themselves. I have friends who pursued goals for their careers and just inspire others with their work ethic. Just by watching these people work to improve their lives, I feel inspired to do it in my own life to find ways I can do better for myself.
Then there’s the other people. I’ve known people who take in a known mooch, provide for them, and finally got frustrated with the mooch enough to kick them to the curb. They thought maybe they could “fix” this person who obviously didn’t want that. The drama llama always has problems. The friend of the drama llama can’t maintain relationships with other friends because there’s never time to spend time being happy with people because they have to constantly console the llama. The grown child just can’t take care of themselves. They have no idea how to do anything and just tag along. They don’t actually try to learn or adapt to situations and just have to have their hands held for any little thing. There’re toxic people who are just friendly enough to keep you around but take every opportunity to say something negative about you or one-up your achievements with their own exaggerations. There’s all kinds of people who aren’t going to help you reach your potential.
You need people to support and inspire you. Not some vulnerable pet for you to protect to validate your sense of power/ability. This is a two-way street! Just as they inspire and support you, you need to be a supportive friend who lives a life they will find inspiring in their own ways. Remember, you’re the average of the five. That means some people will be further along in their personal growth and some will be a little bit behind you but you’ll have something to learn from everyone.
So your homework is to review the people you most associate with. If they’re toxic, dump them. If they’re not toxic but they’re not inspiring, helpful, awesome, etc, then put a little distance to make room for the best friends. If you know people who keep you motivated and help you do better, then pull them in tighter and make yourself more available to spend time with them (talking to the introverts in the audience).
I hope you continue to grow yourself because personal growth is always productive.