five people

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.

- Jim Rohn

16 Comments leave a comment below

  1. I wonder if this is as true for meditators. Are our personalities less pliable if we are more reliant on our true self?

  2. But what if I spend my time with 5 people I hate, thinking mostly about ways not to be like them? Then I’m possibly the average of their opposites.

    Or what if while I’m with the 5 people, I think mostly about people I like better who aren’t nearby and don’t see often. Does thinking about a person count as spending time with them?

    Fun to think about this one – but it crumbles quickly.

  3. I don’t believe in the concept of the “opposite” of a person. Results will be individual. Depending on one’s thinking style (do you tend to think about what you get away from or do you tend to think about what you want to get towards), results may vary.
    Come to think of it, results are individual anyways.
    I agree: Fun to reflect on, as long as I don’t take it serious.

  4. then everybody’s average.

  5. I can’t see the logic in this statement. It’s perhaps likely you’ll take a portion of each of the five personalities, but there are simply too many arguments and too many ‘what if’s’.

  6. The comments are here are funny. Yes, we are those 5 people. Or more precisely the people in our immediate
    social proxemic. Many designers do not flow outside their group dynamic. They extend themselves just far enough to have their concepts codified by the others in the group. The group as a whole becomes the symbiont and the standard for a slightly larger proxemic than themselves.

  7. Like all mean field theories, this one may be valid only for the simple cases, but not critical phenomena.

  8. so, if you don’t spend time with anyone? who are you then?

  9. Most people like to spend time with people in the same socio-spiritial-economic group, so this seems a bit obvious to me. It’s not necessary that your friends and family dictate you, but that you choose them. I’m from LA, and I do have a pretty Benetton group of friends, yet they are all alike me in terms of schooling, level in career, music enjoyed, social scene… actually also similar to me in physical health, variety of restaurants and cuisine enjoyed, how much travelling, sports enjoyed, cultural events…

  10. This is saying is not a law. Its a guiding principle and we need to appreciate what he implies. Please do not take this at face value and throw critical arguments at it.

  11. Average of what, and from what time period? What kind of differences are there between introverts and extroverts?

    I can’t think of five people in my life, ever, that would make me “average” in computer knowledge Known, but out of my life, I’m sure I could name a couple to get me there. But not in my experience. According to this principle, I would be the average of my family, since they have been the five most people around me for 9 years now.

    There have been periods of time when there weren’t four other people around me to even make that kind of statement.

    That implies that all five are in the same boat, and therefore all five are average — the same. I don’t see it.

    A guiding principle? I might go with the fact that being around four other people that are higher than me in some way is going to drag me up by exposure. I don’t think that my hanging around somebody that is lower than me is necessarily going to drag me down by exposure, either.

  12. @Jayasimhan you are so right. People are so literal and miss the value. They jump to why it is wrong, instead of asking how would this make me better….

    As a thought experiment try this:
    If you could meet 5 people you truly admire in a drawing room for an evening, who would they be? Now imagine having them as part of your social circle for the next 12-18 months. Would that make you a better person? Would that enhance you life? (I know two different questions). How would it impact you?

    just a thought…

  13. Does Language Shape What We Think?
    Scientific American.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-language-shape-what

    Just replace language with concept(s).

  14. Perhaps it simply means that who you spend time with have a great influence on your personality: what you say, do, and sometimes, think.

    I’d personally like to think of the quote as quite true, as a high school student. A person’s social group affects their decisions and language. When one person changes from a certain group to a different type of group, their attitude and actions tend to greatly reflect the people they spend the most time with.

    Maybe the best meaning I could derive from this quote is that what others see in me is the average of all my friends personalities. Regarding what that result is, I can change myself for the better or stay the same.

  15. Well it could be the other way around, the five people you spend most of your time with is because you feel confortable with them.

  16. I think the above statement strongly applies to young people because they are impressionable. They constantly receive insights and values from people around them.

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