“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”- Jim Rohn

If you want to change, you need to stop and look around at your environment. Who are your friends? What are they like? What do you do with your free time? Who do you surround yourself with? What is your day-to-day life like? Do you wake up full of energy or dread another day? Are you healthy, or do you feel lethargic? When is the last time you prayed for something more than your favorite sports team to win? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you move forward.
If you surround yourself with people who talk behind other people’s backs, practice unhealthy behaviors, and worry only about themselves, you will become one of those people. When you have free time, do you read books that challenge you, or do you watch hedonistic television shows that perpetuate the belief in society that money and power are the most important values? A clean environment helps us grow. Imagine putting a plant in the midst of rocky soil without sunshine or water. It will wither and die. Is your environment fertile land, or is it filled with rocks that bring you down?
My environment today is very different than it was ten years ago. When I was in my twenties, the most important things to me were having fun, hanging out with friends, watching wrestling on TV, sleeping until noon, and eating burritos at 3 a.m. Nothing in that environment was meaningful. My environment made me a lesser version of the person I wanted to become. As time went on and I looked to better myself, I needed to adjust my environment. The first step was to look to friends who were doing the things that I wanted to be doing. I needed to surround myself with healthy people who challenged themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. People who want to make healthy choices cannot succeed if unhealthy choices are continually placed in front of them. People who overindulge in sweets, won’t fare well at an ice cream shop. It is easy to slip back into bad habits in a bad environment.
If you want to become a healthier person by working out, you need to surround yourself with healthy people. If you want to read more, you should join a book club. If you want to become more spiritual, go to church or join a prayer group. One of my best friends became the managing director for a personal training firm in Chicago. Within the last several years, he has had a complete change in his physical shape. He looks better, feels healthier, and has enough energy to chase around three young children. One of the biggest changes in his life was his environment. When he starting working for a personal training firm, he constantly talked about healthy living, better eating, and working out. He surrounded himself with a positive physical environment, and he became physically better. We become the things that we surround ourselves with.
If you are looking for a change in your life, begin by looking at the people that you surround yourself with. Simply start by writing out all of the people you spent time with in the previous week. Then put that list next the list of your goals, dreams and visions. Are the people in your life helping you achieve those goals or tearing them down? (If you don’t have a list of goals, start there, and if you need help, connect with my on twitter @josephdbush). If the people you are spending time with are not helping you achieve your goals, it is time for a new environment. Start by associating with people who have similar goals and dreams. You do not have to “break up” with your friends. As you start to change your environment, some of them will change and others will fade away. Remember, the people who helped us get from point A to point B in life are not necessarily the ones who can take you from point B to point C.

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