The idea that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with is not new. Its’ been touted by self improvement gurus all over for the last several years. Often referred to as “the average of five rule,” It was first put forward by motivational speaker Jim Rohn several years back. While I would agree with Mr. Rohn’s premise, I would say it a different way. My version is that we tend to move towards the average of the four people we spend the most time with and the fifth person is our self. My suspicion is that Jim had this in mind when he was quoted.
The interesting thing about this is that it’s just good old every day horse sense. The kind of stuff everyone should be aware of. I remember as a kid hearing adults make reference to someone who found their way into a “bad crowd.” Those elders were referring to this same law of human behavior that we know as the average of five rule. It derives from the scientific law of averages that states the result of any situation will be the average of all the possible outcomes. We all learned at a young age, if you lyes with dogs, you will get fleas!
Undoubtedly the vast majority of humans can’t simply be described as good or bad. People who tend to make more good decisions than bad are often referred to as good. Likewise, people who tend to make bad decisions more often than good are labeled bad. No one makes all good decisions just as no one makes all bad decisions. The best way to start making more good decisions is to spend time with those who make more good decisions.
As the decisions one makes start to be better, in turn, happiness and well-being will increase. It’s simple if/then logic. Our level of happiness is largely affected by the decisions we make. Both good as well as bad decisions are taken equally into consideration by the mind. Not only is the final decision weighed, all the thoughts and possible outcomes are factored in as well.
We finally arrive at what we’ve known to be true all along. The types of people we spends most of our time with will affect our happiness level. The best way to start improving the life satisfaction of yourself and those around you is to raise the bar in the group. Don’t give in to negativity. Share experiences and ideas that are positive. At first your efforts may seem to be to no avail, be steady with your effort. The law of averages tells us both you and those around you will move, even if slowly, to a more positive outlook.