Recently, I decided to take on a yearlong leadership program (technically, it’s two years, but that’s a whole other rabbit trail).
What were my best friends doing when I was about to join? Two were already in the program, and two more were about to join.
There wasn’t any peer pressure. There were three factors that ultimate got me in: 1) a competitive spirit, 2) feeling stuck in my career, and 3) the fact that one of my friends inspired me to join.
Of course, I can’t underestimate the influence of my friends, because, as you’ve surely heard before:
Birds of a feather flock together.
The truth is the influence of relationship is near impossible to overcome. If your friends are lazy, you’re lazy too. If your friends are broke and in debt, so are you. It almost always follows that you have the same traits and habits your friends have. You’re an average of those you hang around.
Looking at this with a sober mind is challenging because feelings always get in the way, but if you were to elevate your game, can you guarantee that those around you wouldn’t just pull you down like crabs in a bucket? Do you know that they’re not just going to come to you and ask, “What are you doing all that work for? Come be with us. Let’s hang out.” Because that’s usually what happens…
I’m not here to tell you what to do with your friends. I just want you to become conscious of the fact that, if you want more out of your career and life, you might need to take a cold, hard look at your association.
Artists often underestimate the influence of the people they’re surrounded by. They tend to care more about the optics of who they’re seen with versus what it might mean for their long-term success. I would encourage you to take a closer look at the people you’re surrounded by, their work ethic, and their mindset.
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