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Have you ever heard the saying, If you’re the smartest person in your circle it’s time to find a new one?  Maybe you’ve heard if you hang around with 9 broke friends you’re bound to be the tenth one.  Well they are both true.   By choosing who you spend time with, you are literally shaping your own future. Start by examining the people you spend the most time around. Consider if these people are enabling you toward your envisioned self. If they are not, identify and increase contact with the people who will enable you to become the best person you can be.  The truth is regardless, who you spend time with influences the person you eventually become. Who you are with can elevate you as much as it can bring you down.

The first question you must ask yourself is do you like who you are right now and are you being the best you possible?  You have to decide what type of person you really want to be.  What is your ideal self that you wish to become? What are the qualities you want to possess? Once you answer these questions you then have to look at the 5 people you spend the most time with in your life currently and ask yourself what they’re like.  What are the top 3 qualities each of them stand for?

If they don’t match who you want to become in the future, it’s time to expand your circle and trim it at the same time.  If you spend time around individuals who’s qualities don’t match those you’d like to posses, who disable your vision for yourself or bring you down it’s time to open your eyes and realize your circle is either helping or hurting you be who you need to be to experience the life you envision.

The goal is to identify the 5 people that embody the qualities you desire.  They should be people you aspire to become and/or respect in some way or another. It does not matter whether the person is a specific individual or a general person, outside of your social circle, lives in a different country or dead.

Depending on who the people are, you can use the following methods to reach out to them:


  • Use the internet or networking events to connect with them. Be selective about the places you frequent and have a goal for attending.
  • Deposit before you withdraw – bring value to them and their lives.
  • Have a mutual friend introduce you – If you have any friends who might know this individual? Is there a way for you to bridge into the same social circles?
  • Read all you can about them – If direct communication does not work out, you can always bring the person to you in the form of his/her works. Does the person have any works under his/her name, such as shows, books or podcasts? Get your hands on them and soak yourself in them. These materials were after all written/made by them and the content will convey their consciousness and knowledge. In essence, being exposed to these materials is equivalent to interacting with them in person.
  • Envision yourself learning from them. In one of my favorite books Think & Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill wrote in that every night before he slept, he would have an imaginary council meeting which included individuals such as Darwin, Einstein, Aristotle, Confucius, Socrates and other greats.  Of course Hill had never met them but this practice is what he credits to be one of the keys of his success.


When I was growing up in Detroit someone gave me a copy of Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun, which is the Biography of Reginald Lewis one of the first African American Billionaires and Mr. Lewis became my mentor.  Although by the time I received the book Mr. Lewis had passed away, the lessons I learned from him through reading helped shape my perspective and show me what was truly possible.


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