One can judge a man by the company he keeps.
We will spend hours researching a new car before purchasing. Comparing models, features, fuel economy, colors, and price. Honda or Toyota? Mazda or Ford? Minivan or Crossover? How will I look in it? Will it fit my car seat? Is a coupe even a good idea with a baby?!? Despite the time spent on the car, we may not dedicate that same intentional thought to what is arguably one of the most important decisions we can make: the people we choose to share our time with.
This article will give you the tools to analyze and decide if you are spending the time with the right people. All of it is powered by the F5 framework, which helps me keep a balanced life.
Average of Your 5
Jim Rohn is famously quoted as saying "you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with". That is great to know but how do you start to analyze those five? Luckily, in The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, the author has built a simple tool to help you rate and assess your top five. I have adapted his framework and integrated it with our F5 framework of faith, family, fitness, friends, and finance.
Assessing Your Current Associations
This is about the amount of TIME you spend with people outside of your immediate household (spouse and kids) and your strict work interactions (those in your office, unless you spend time outside of work with them). Evaluate their level of success in each of the areas. Feel free to use our F5 Association Evaluator.
Reviewing Your Current Associations
Now, organize your associations into the following three categories: expanded associations, limited associations, and disassociations.
1. Expanded Associations
Based on your goals and the person you want to become, who do you need to be around more often? Who in your expanded sphere of influence can you find a way to spend more time with?
2. Limit Associations
Who do you spend a significant amount of time with that you might need to pull back from a bit? They are a good person, but they aren’t necessarily going where you want to go.
Maybe you need to disassociate from someone in the chart above who has a negative influence on you. These are people who have a negative effect on what you talk about, what you eat, drink, do, watch, listen to, etc.
I'll share my current list (names changed). Note that I already have gone through the above exercise so the people I spend the majority of my time with are well aligned with my F5. What I specifically look for are people I can expand my associations with and mentors to accelerate my growth.
It is your turn run your own F5 association evaluator. Feel free to use our google sheet or a simple piece of paper. I did my first one on a flight with an old fashion pen and paper. Now I have the process digital.