Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. – Proverbs 13:20
Translated into a statement we most likely have all heard, “you will become the average of your 5 closest friends. ”
Would you agree?
Imagine you are attending your own funeral. Your spouse, parents, siblings, friends and coworkers are asked to speak about who you were and what you meant to each of them. What would like them to say about you? Is there a gap between who you hope they would described and who you are today?
I was first introduced to this exercise by Stephen Covey in his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” As I personally thought through my relationships and what I hoped they would say about me, it felt like a bucket of ice water being poured on my face while I was still asleep. An initial shock that not only woke me up but made me jump out of bed and ready for action.
I was awoken by the reality that there was a major gap between who I wanted to be and who I was that day. What was also clear was I had never taken the time to evaluate if my relationships were healthy. Were each of us helping or hurting the other in becoming the person we desired to be?
With a clear picture of who I wanted to be, I was able to evaluate whether the “average of my 5 friends” would result in me becoming that person. This exercise also forced me to take my relationships to a deeper level. I had to be intentional about discovering what made my friends tick and who they wanted to become. My role shifted from just a “buddy” to a true friend who was committed to helping them become the person they desired to be.
Who does your “average” say you will become?