Law of Association

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once observed that, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I agree with this sentiment wholly. We tend to see successful people spending most of their time with other successful people. We generally see fit people hanging out with other people who are fit. How many times can you recall a group of positive, happy people having a negative pessimist in their ranks? Birds of a feather flock together.

It doesn’t matter where you grew up or what kind of grades you got in school. It doesn’t matter what skills you have today. What matters the most to the person you want to be in the future is who you choose to associate yourself with…and who you choose to disassociate yourself with.

There may be some people in your life that make you feel drained after only an hour with them, yet you spend as much or more than a few days a week with them. There may be other people in your life where you feel absolutely rejuvenated after time with them, yet you only see them during brief and off the cuff moments. This is not a fault of yours. Most people don’t go through their day to day life thinking about their toxic and potentially positive relationships. Your relationships build you though. They help build your dreams, your happiness, and your overall quality of life. However, they can also build your nightmares, your sadness, and the overall feeling of helplessness in your life.

Can you imagine trying to practice happiness when you have friends and family around you who are always complaining and nagging rather than supporting and complimenting each other? Being happy around people who are like this is impossible. I’ll say it again… being happy around negative people is impossible. If you hang around negative people consistently, it’s beyond unlikely that you will ever have a positive approach to life. This goes both ways. If you hang around positive people consistently, it’s unlikely that you will develop a negative approach to life.

You will never be happy surrounded by negativity.

Spend some time evaluating the people that you spend the most time with in your life. I’m sure there will be co-workers, family, and other friends on this list. Think about each person. Do they push you forward in life in one way or another, or do they push you back? Do they motivate and inspire you, or do they crush your dreams? Do they make you smile when you’re with them, or do they make you sad? Decide who on this list you want to begin spending less time with and start pursuing actions that will cut your time with them. On that same list, write down the names of people you want to spend more time with. Start pursuing actions that will increase your time with them.

At the end of the list…who do you have left on your paper? What would your life look like if you were the average of these five people?


Travis Barton

Life Coach



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