By John Sonmez March 31, 2016

Change Your Friends, Change Your Life!

This is a frequent question I receive and it is also a question that I often cover on my YouTube videos. It all started when I covered a concept extracted from “The Personal MBA” Book which stated that “Your Setpoints Determine Your Reality”. After that, I've received a lot of questions from people asking me how they could change their setpoints. I did a video about that which stated that you needed to change your social circle if you wanted to change your setpoints.

Jim Rohn once said: “You Are The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With”. Due to that, if you really want to raise your setpoints, you need to change your friends and the people you hang out with. But… Isn't it mean? Isn't it evil? How should you change your friends? Should you stop hanging out with them? Should you cut them out of your life?

Watch this video and find out.

Transcript From The Video:

John: Hey, what's up, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com. I got this question and I've sort of answered this in a few different ways. I've talked about raising your set point. I believe I did another video, kind of a follow up on that on Your Circle of Influence and Getting Friends Around You. But I want to address specifically this one point of that that Erik brings up here because I think one of the biggest obstacles in everything that I've told you so far about raising that set point and changing the people that are around you is this idea that Erik asks here.

He says, “Hi John, Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. I definitely agree with that. With that in mind I have a close knit group of friends that have no interest in online business or entrepreneurship. I would say most of my friends are happy with where they're at professionally. Do you think I need to start distancing myself from these people to get ahead? It seems a little Machiavellian to cut people out because they're not as ambitious as me or not as successful. Thanks, Erik.”

You're going to have to get Machiavellian here, Erik. It's not mean to cut people out of your life who are not contributing to your life. It's hard. It's a tough road. It's a road that most people won't do, but if you want to rise to a higher level you've got to find higher caliber friends. It's not like you hate these people. I talked about before about—in another video about making them—turning them from friends into acquaintances. That's where you got to go. That's all it is. It's a transition.

We're all growing. We're all changing, right? Most of us are growing in different directions and some of us aren't growing. Sometimes you'll meet a group of friends and they're at the level that you're at and it's great or maybe they're even a little above you and you guys grow together and you grow together and then all of a sudden they stop growing and you're still trying to grow. It's not their fault they're happy where they're at like you said. It doesn't mean they're a bad person. It just means that they're done for now or maybe they're even just going a different direction than you.

It's not mean to cut them out. I mean think about it this way. You would want them to cut you out and to go and do what—if you truly care for your friends, if you truly have love in your heart, you would want them to do what's best for them. If they're true friends of yours they would want you to do what's best for them. It's really not that horrible of a thing as it sounds.

Here's where it actually gets painful where that swords comes down a little bit hard which is sometimes this is going to be your family. Sometimes it's going to be people that are really close to you because they're a poisonous influence in your life. We're not even talking about people that are not growing, but sometimes you're going to have to—I've had to cut some people out of my life that have been really close because they're poison. They don't mean to be poison and they're trying the best that they can and you know that but you just can't spend that much time with them.

It doesn't mean that you don't ever talk to them, it just means that you don't spend a lot of time with them. They don't become one of those 5. You should hold those 5 positions in very high regard. Those are the people—and you're constantly—they're constantly being tested. You constantly are testing people to see if they deserve one of those 5 positions because you only got those 5. It might seem like a selfish thing but that is going to determine who you become so you've got to take this seriously in your life and be willing to cut people out and to do it in the right way.

It's not like, “Hey, you're poison in my so I'm cutting you out.” It's just—you're just dissociating. You're just spending less time. You're just drifting away and drifting towards the people that have this similar goals that have this similar type of things.

A lot of people they have this false assumption. They think that they can pull people up, right? I'm not saying that you don't ever reach down into the pit and help someone up who wants to help up, but you can't pull them up. There's this other thing, a really good book. Read this book it's called The War of Art and he talks about—one thing that always sticks out to me in it is he says this quote, maybe he got it from somewhere else but he says that, “The greatest treason a crab can commit is to make a leap for the rim of the bucket.”

If you've ever seen crabs in the bucket, if you've ever gone crabbing, what will happen is one of the crabs will try to get out of the bucket, it will make a leap for it. What do all the other crabs do? They grab them and pull them down.” That's what's going to happen. People just do that in life. When they see someone rising up they want to bring them back down into the muck. You've got to be able to rise above the muck and you've got to realize that it's not because you hate them, it's not because you're mean, it's just because that's what you've got to do.

Anyway, great question Erik. I wish you the best and I hope that you do find a good circle of friends that will challenge you and help you rise and grow with you. If you have a question for me email me at john@simpleprogrammer.com. If you like these videos, of course, subscribe to the channel. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."