Friend or Frenemy? …

“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” ~ Tennessee Williams
How important are your friends to your success? If they are non-work friends they can’t influence how you get on at work. Or can they?
The late Jim Rohn said ‘We are the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with’. Look at your five; are you somewhere in the middle? Are you achieving similar success to that of your friends? Similar salary levels? Parallel lives?
So how or why would that be? Is it that birds of a feather flock together, a case of like attracting like, or is it something else? Do we set our own path to run alongside those that we see most often and are therefore most familiar to us? Have you noticed, when you meet someone new who really inspires you, you start to try different things. You might go to different places. Take up new hobbies; decide to get fit, join the gym, start watching old sub-titled French movies. There is so much choice and opportunity in the world it is impossible for any one of us to understand or experience it all; though some may try. What we tend to do, where we tend to go, how we think about things tends to be linked to that which we know best. We use our traditional benchmarks to assess and identify things. We feel happy with our lot when we are around others with the same lot; we must be doing ok because our friends sure look fine.
Have you noticed that people can encourage you to anger, happiness, rage or joy. The mood others around you are in rubs off, for better or worse. When you are around a hypochondriac too long, you get sick. When you’re around someone that swears for too long, you pick up bad language. When you are around an optimist too long, you get going in the right direction.
How does this impact your career success? When you’re around the make-do, just-enough, get-by people you will become less focused on excellence. When you’re around the work to live people you will increase your social life activities and decrease your input to work. When you’re around go-getters, big-thinkers, hard-hitters and do-the-best-job-possible’s you will up your game. That is the way of the human; that is the nature of you!
Look at your five people again. Where does that put your success? How does that make your future look? Is that acceptable to you? Is that the vision you wanted for yourself? If it is not then consider making some changes. I am not suggesting for one moment that you break friendships, end relationships or delete your entire address book. But go to some different places, make an effort to meet some new people. Make a decision what kind of people you want to mix with, by setting a profile for the person you want to become. Now just start to tip the balance slightly. Instead of seeing your original five two nights a week, see them one and add your new crowd into the now vacant slot. Whereas you would have met your original five every lunchtime, just see them three lunchtimes, then maybe drop it back to only two (if you want to) and start having lunch with your new crowd in their place
I have very few friends from way back when. In fact the friends I do have from then, I typically never see or speak to. Rather we send each other occasional notes on Facebook. My best friends are chalk and cheese to my friends of twenty years ago. So much so I wonder if I ever had anything in common with the way-backs. The reality is that not only is it ok to move on, it is better than that. It is invigorating, uplifting and if one single thing is life-changing, then this is that one thing!
Are you frustrated by your career success (or lack of it)? Are you really good at what you do but you just can’t work out how to get someone to realise? Is it sometimes difficult to get taken seriously where you are? Do you just wish you could find your dream job and be happy?
There’s nothing wrong with you. Most people have felt like you do at some point in their career. The good news is that a problem well-stated is a problem half-solved. It just takes a different way of doing things to create the different result that you are looking for and working with someone that has helped hundreds of people get their dream job and find happiness. Email us at to set up a time to chat and we’ll see if we can help!

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