Beware the Company You Keep!

The classic comedian, Groucho Marx, was once quoted as saying "I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member." It is a funny line but there is a grain of truth in it that we would be wise to pay attention to. The most obvious is the simple truth that we are known by the company we keep.

Allow me to elaborate on how this plays out.

For good or bad, when people see us, they judge us based on what they know about the people that we surround ourselves with--and for good reason! Studies have shown that in any group, people are most likely to slip down to the lowest common denominator within that group. It is only within the most elite circles that people will rise.

In other words, if you are willing to associate with thugs, accept poor behavior, or accept the notion that life's problems are insurmountable, then you will eventually find yourself on the same level as those friends.

Regardless of whether we are talking about behavior, morals, political views, or style of dress, humans are social animals and it is in our nature to conform to the group identity. It is for this reason that you must be very careful with whom you invest your time because you will literally become the company you keep.

This is why I always advise people to seek out those who are visionaries and achievers. Find those people who are like-minded, in that they are seeking more and better from life, and befriend them. It is also why I constantly stress to people that they cannot keep toxic people in their lives. The way it was put to me is that you will never be any better than the average of your five closest friends.

So, I ask you, what types of folks are you hanging around with? Do they view life as filled with infinite opportunities or as full of limitations?

If you are having problems with your finances, maybe it is because you are hanging around with, or are being influenced by, people who make poor decisions with their money, or who view money as scarce. You need to intentionally seek advice from financially prosperous people.

If your relationship is on the rocks, maybe you need to seek advice from people who have a history of happy, fulfilling marriages. Stop taking relationship advice from people with a history of poor relationships.

If your spiritual life isn't what it should be, maybe you need to walk away from those old friends who do not consistently practice spiritual principles. Gravitate toward people who are growing in their spiritual faith.

My challenge for you this week:

Take a few minutes to evaluate the people you have in your life and determine whether it's time to upgrade your relationships instead of your cell phone.

  1. Make a list of the five people that you spend the most time with.

  2. List the common traits and behaviors that they possess (spiritual, mental, physical, financial, health)?

  3. Do each of these five individuals have a positive or negative life perspective?

  4. Which of these individuals live their life consistent with the vision you have for your life?

  5. Do you need to rotate out any friends or reduce their access to you?

  6. Make sure you discover new friends that will advance you!

You will never be any better than your worst friend and personally, I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member--I deserve better than that!

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