We are sure you’ve heard this one -“Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Well, there is another version of it, a bit more recent one… “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
But how true is this in the context of goal-setting? We’ve selected three distinct aspects of our lives to investigate the impact of the social environment – finance, health, and personal development.
Two distinct types of environments
The first is the physical one – we’ve already discussed it in detail before. For example, how to bring your spending in check or how to lose weight. A more up-to-date case is the e-cigarettes which can make smoking a bit more convenient and less dangerous. Still, it won’t help you quit smoking.
Today, however, we will go over this other aspect – the social one, i.e. how those around us affect our chances for success.
“Does it matter who we are interacting with on a daily basis?”
We can simply say “Sure” and close the topic with that.
But for a better and therefore a more practical understanding we’ll need to dig in deeper here. If you know what you want and if you act with focus and determination then supportive surroundings will do you only good. Of course, some had to fight at every step and yet managed to succeed. But we don’t hear of these stories that often, right?
A preferred scenario is when the circumstances are beneficial to you. That’s the case when those around you get to motivate and encourage you.
Let’s now get into those 3 areas we already told you.
# 1: Finances
Once you’ve outlined the vision for it there will be two quite different possibilities for you.
First one: “Living in the moment”.
This happens when most of those around you, friends, family, etc., are going through life with little or no concern about their financial future. Their general attitude is that “you live only once” and therefore money should not have any significant role outside of being earned and spent right away.
There are those expensive and beyond their means purchases or vacation trips that are oftentimes simply put on the credit card. It’s a miracle they manage to stay on top of it all.
Option 2: Actively working for a secure financial future.
But there are those who value money not only for its purchasing power but also as a source of future stability. For this purpose they work regularly and with dedication in different directions, generating passive income for example. They stay well informed by reading a lot, following blogs, and attending events where they can meet others who have the same objectives. No doubt, they do very well when it comes to money management.
We have seen both sides of the coin
And you have likely seen it too.
Or at least it’s not that hard to imagine how the above two alternatives can influence the way we manage our income.
When everybody around us believes that “money is the root of all evil” we will acquire quite a potent limiting belief. But if our social surrounding isn’t so close-minded and contributes to our knowledge we will be much better equipped to succeed in the long-run.
How to build a supportive environment
You either try to find one or, if you can’t, then you go ahead and make your own.
If you sign up for seminars you will most likely meet the right people. Just like those who attend the “Smart Money” events of Stoyne Vassilev. Becoming part of such a community will bring a great deal of difference in your attitude as well as how you work on your objectives.
Recently, the “Mastermind Groups” have gained popularity in Bulgaria. This movement is based on a book by Napoleon Hill published in the 30s of the last century.
As a rule, these are like clubs that accept new members by invitation only. But there isn’t anything that could stop you from creating a new one.
The way to get accepted to such a group is to show progress and steady growth as a person.
An interesting fact
Here is one interesting fact.
According to one study, your salary is the average of the income of the five people with whom you communicate most?
Of course, it might be tricky to find out their income but if you do manage to do so the result might be quite a revelation to you. In any case, it is one more reminder of how important your social circle is.
# 2: Health and exercise
Niki has always been fascinated with how his behavior in terms of diet and physical activity depends on what goes around him.
For example, if he went on vacation with some relatives who had decided to do nothing more than to take it easy then he would follow this not so “active” attitude. He would skip exercise and won’t be as careful with his calorie intake.
But his attitude is just the opposite when he’s with the members of his gym on some weekend training program. He becomes much more disciplined and careful of what he eats and drinks.
A more recent example
We went on a trip that was fully dedicated to sports and exercise. It was four friends together with their families.
Sometimes our summer vacation is lying on the beach and not doing much of anything else. But this time it was different, very different.
Every morning we did go for a run or a swim, we did some cross-fit exercises or biking. We also tried for the first time some new things like scuba diving and water skiing. It was much easier when this is done with the help of a friend.
Nowadays it is close to impossible to exercise together during the social distancing months. But there are still ways to be part of a group of people who have a positive impact on you.
For example, we never stopped doing our running, albeit alone, but this time it was a Viber group we called appropriately “Running Buddies”. So, we talk and share to motivate ourselves in real-time.
# 3: Personal growth and development
We strongly believe that these types of goals constitute the foundation that everything else is built upon, including the manner in which we view everything around us.
This is one of the very first reasons we are so focused on personal development.
It was a long time ago when Ivan first became interested in it. He was far from what you would call successful – pretty much no aspect of his life was looking good at that point.
And that was so until he decided that he had to open his mind. He started reading and learning how to unlock his potential looking for the better version of himself. It was a process though – he gradually began building new habits as well as his social circle. The results were quick to follow.
We believe that by laying a good foundation in this we can succeed in almost anything. That is why goal-setting is so important to us and we’ve been doing that for the last 7 years.
Environment for goals
When you find yourself amongst people who read books, go to events, listen to podcasts you tend to do the same. There is something “contagious” in this and soon you will feel inspired by the success of others.
There is a stark contrast when your endeavors are not met with understanding but with suspicion and sometimes even ridicule. There is no doubt that if those close to you, i.e. family and friends, don’t show support you will eventually give up. You may keep dreaming of change but it will never come if you are a hostage to such an environment.
Events and seminars
We are convinced that the best way is to surround yourself with as many people as possible who would not only respect but will be supportive of your endeavors. Our regular workshops are more than helpful in that respect. As for us, we greatly appreciate these events because of the challenge to answer the many new questions of the participants.
Well, right now it is not possible to gather in large numbers but there are still the books and all kinds of free online resources available for our system “GoalBuddy”.
Are you changing the environment or is it changing you?
A member of our “GoalBuddy” community shared with us how difficult it was to get people to be interested in goal-setting. She was struggling to accept the fact that she had to either improve her environment or replace it with a new one.
We often get to view ourselves as energetic and charismatic enough to change those around us for better.
Not that long ago a relative of ours was having a lot of trouble with a negative and even aggressive attitude. He believed that he would be able to change this but after several months he became emotionally exhausted and eventually gave up.
Of course, it is possible to change your environment, but you must be ready for long and hard work. The other possibility is that it will change you. And the worst of it is that it will happen without you even realizing that.
The best way is to be part of an “ecosystem” that is demanding and yet encouraging. The two of us are blessed with the opportunity to interact with people who make us believe we can achieve anything we set our minds and hearts on.
We are glad and happy that you are part of this community!