Look, finding so-called like-minded people to surround yourself with is all the buzz. You, like me, have probably heard it ad nauseam.
But we also once thought the world was flat; and that didn’t make it true now did it?
People at a bus stop are like-minded. They’re waiting on the same thing and going in the same direction. That like-minded group is going to get you nowhere fast…
Okay, maybe to the mall.
Now I know you may be thinking, “James, you’re being a bit extreme.” No, I’m being specific; and adding a good dose of controversy which I’m always good at.
If you want to know more, notice more. Specific language, observation and conversation bring specific results. Generalities generally get you nowhere.
Obviously if you’ve been following along through the series, you know it’s a series of conversations regarding purpose. How to find it; and how to live it.
So what does connecting with your community and tribe have to do with your purpose?
Well, it’s paramount.
Professor Keith Sawyer from Washington University has conducted important research regarding the community of people with whom you consistently surround yourself. Sawyer’s research concludes that your community either makes or breaks you.
To say that you rise to the level of your core community, no more no less, is by no means an understatement.
You rise to the level of your core community and no further. No more, no less.
The only way beyond this is to change your community or tribe.
Let’s just take finances as a very tangible example.
Countless people come to me for my Ultimate Performance Coaching program with financial increase as their goal.
But here’s the hard fact.
If you’re surrounded by people who make $50,000 per year (nothing wrong with that by the way), you’re going to get $50,000 thinking, $50,000 ideas and creativity, $50,000 conversation, and $50,000 opportunities.
If you’re intending to create $100,000 results in your life, you’re most likely never going to be exposed to it in a $50,000 community.
Much less $500,000 thinking and opportunities.
Do you follow?
If you’re smarter, faster, more creative, happy and successful than everyone in the room, you need a new room.
Obviously this principle applies to more than just money. Money is always a great example to use because it’s tangible.
Surrounded by a room full of dreamers who take no action and keep their head in the clouds? You’ll most likely continue to dream.
Surrounded by a room full of dreamers who are productivity and performance driven, and keep their boots on the ground? You’re much more likely to achieve.
What you need are not like-minded people. What you need are what I call productivity and performance-minded people.
Think about the difference.
Productivity and Performance-Minded people is a finer distinction and much more than just semantics.
Forget so called “like-minded” people. What you need are Harmonic Wealth-Minded people. Productivity and Performance-Minded people. This community will get you somewhere.
Look, let’s face it. Time is short in physical form. If you’re going to have a positive impact on the lives of others, as well as the world, the time is now.
I recall being a founding member of a group of “like-minded” people in the same industry. Founding this group I was extremely excited by the potential that was in the room. Here were many individuals who were supposedly committed to making a positive difference and impact on the world.
As I looked around at our initial meeting I thought “Man there’s enough talent in this room to create a transformational Tsunami.
Not so fast.
Unfortunately the leader had other objectives; and the leader wasn’t me.
After our first couple of meetings, in which I pulled upon my best business consulting practices, to help the group craft a formal purpose, vision and values; in my mind it was time to get to work.
Again, not so fast.
The discussion turned to the next float trip, ski trip, spa outing, etc.
Not only “not so fast,” it ended up being not ever!
The master doesn’t socialize, he networks. While networking may be social, it’s interacting socially with a purpose.
Life is too short to not be on point and purpose.
After several futile attempts to inspire these “like-minded” individuals to collectively impact the world, I quickly decided to start missing “outings.”
At some level.
Productivity and performance-minded?
Not a chance.
You may argue that we’re social creatures and we need time for rejuvenation. I whole-heartedly agree; and research proves that the most creative individuals throughout history rejuvenate and recharge alone not in groups.
Please read that again.
I’ve written on these topics at great length elsewhere; and whether you agree with me or not it’s true nonetheless. Please do your own research.
In my Ultimate Performance Coaching program I’m consistently looking to attract the “right” people. People who are productivity and performance-minded.
People who are committed to mastery.
People who are committed to harmony, wellbeing and fullness in every single area of their life.
People who are committed to creating world-class work.
Committed to becoming the very best they can become at their craft. Whatever that craft may be. It makes little difference how that unfolds, for we are all here to serve.
One of the most powerful decision I’ve ever made in my life was made well over a decade ago when I decided I was no longer going to spend high quantity time with people I did not want to be.
Please read that again.
One of the most powerful decision you can make is to no longer spend high quantity time with people you do not want to be.
At one point in the early nineties I looked around at my tribe and community, and I realized they were not going in the same direction I was going. They weren’t committed to the same things I was committed to. Therefore they were not moving me forward.
In fact, they were holding me back.
People, surroundings, places, and things are either moving you forward or they’re holding you back. There is no neutral.
You see even the most willful of us is off and on with our willpower. Psychologically we’re well aware of the phenomenon called “decision fatigue.” The research in this arena proves that willpower is finite. I’ve written on this topic at great length as well. reference Ultimate Performance series
Your will power is off and on, even in the most willful of us. Yet, your environment is 24/7. Your peer group and social circle is as frequent and as powerful as you choose it to be.
Please think on this long and hard.
Please note that my decision above was not that I was going to no longer spend any time with these individuals. I was just no longer going to spend high quantity time with them. Get the difference?
If the people in your immediate circle, family and community are energy vampires, love them. Understand them. Have compassion for them.
Just don’t go as frequently or stay as long.
Fulfilling your purpose as Elliot reminds us takes no less “than everything you have.” Therefore, if you’re going to accomplish this great and glorious task, you must make your purpose the single most important thing in your life.
Fulfilling your purpose must become everything you think, move and breathe.
And this obviously includes people with whom you spend your time.
In our next installment we’ll discuss the other implications of the individuals with whom you surround yourself; and how it impacts you fulfilling your purpose.
Until then, I challenge you to take a quick inventory of the people in your life, and your community, and ask yourself this important question:
Are the people in my life, and with whom I spend the bulk of my time, moving me forward or holding me back?
There is no value in lying to yourself.
People, places and things are either adding energy and value or subtracting energy and value. There is no neutral in life. There is no standing still.
And the journey continues…
Stay Awake, Love Life and Be Epic!
P.S. Interested in a Productivity and Performance-Minded Community to plug into and stay connected? Check out my brand new Ultimate Performance Forum. You’ll be grateful that you did.