Who are the 5 people you spend the greatest amount of time with? Go ahead, list them. These people make up what is known as your “Fist Factor”. They are referred to as that because when you take five fingers and make a fist, it represents power. And these 5 hold the greatest POWER of influence over you. There are no exceptions, those we spend the bulk of our time with are the ones that determine how we think, act and behave. And they will be key in determining whether or not we achieve or goal.
"Never underestimate the power of influence." Indeed, the influence of those around us is so powerful! Many times we don't even realize we're being strongly affected because influences generally develop over an extended period of time.
Peer pressure is an especially powerful force because it is so subtle. If you're around people who spend all they make, chances are excellent that you might spend all you make. If you are around people who don't read, chances are excellent that you might not read. Hang around grumpy complainers, you may be grumpy. Hang around those who don’t exercise, chances are you won’t. People can keep nudging us off course a little at a time until finally, we find ourselves asking, "How did I get here?" Those subtle influences need to be studied carefully if we really want our lives to turn out the way we've planned.
Jim Rohn suggests asking ourselves these questions to help you make a better analysis of your current associations.
Here is the First Question: "Who am I around?" Make a mental note of the people with whom you most often associate. You've got to evaluate everyone who is able to influence you in any way.
The Second Question is: "What are these associations doing to me?"
That's a major question to ask. What have they got me doing? What have they got me listening to? What have they got me reading? Where have they got me going? What do they have me thinking? How have they got me talking? How have they got me feeling? What have they got me saying? You've got to make a serious study of how others are influencing you, both negatively and positively. People with positive behaviors and habits create positive, healthy, happy lives. Negative lives result in unhealthy, unhappy lives that have little hope for seeing goals achieved.
Now here is the Final Question: "Is that okay?" Maybe everyone you associate with has been a positive, energizing influence. Then again, maybe there are some bad apples in the bunch. All I'm suggesting here is that you take a close and objective look. Everything is worth a second look, especially when it comes to the power of influence. Both will take you somewhere, but only one will take you in the direction you need to go.
It's easy to just dismiss the things that influence our lives. One man says, "I live here, but I don't think it matters. I'm around these people, but I don't think it hurts." I would take another look at that. Remember, everything matters! Sure, some things matter more than others, but everything amounts to something. You've got to keep checking to find out whether your associations are tipping the scales toward the positive or toward the negative. Ignorance is never the best policy. Finding out is the best policy.