Your Top 5 Influences

I wrote this essay while on a cruise ship in Hawaii a few days ago:

Also recorded it, so you can listen instead of read it!
http://www.nevblog.com/audio/top-5-influences.mp3

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Your Top Five Influences.
by: Neville Medhora
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I’m sitting on the island of Hawaii right now….and it’s very clear that everything here is well….slow.

The pace of life.

The people.

The ideas and ambitions they have.

It’s like this in every small island nation I’ve been.

Maybe you’ve noticed this too.

But why is this?

Is there something in the air?

Are the genetics of Hawaiians that much different than the rest of us?

Of course not.

The reason things are slow here, is because the people who grew up in this easy-going environment picked up traits from the people around them.

They are simply a product of their environment.

Now let’s forget Hawaiians for a second, and focus on ourselves….well, unless you’re Hawaiian J

Anyhow…

Let’s pretend we grew up in a blue-collar, working-class town where high school football is practically a religion.

Everyone around you has similar factory jobs and they all constantly talk about the high school football team….because many of them were on it in their generation.

If we were raised in this environment….how do you think we’d turn out?

I’d bet 98 out of 100 people turn out the exact same way.  They will enter blue-collar type roles, live roughly the same way as the people before them, and closely follow high school football.

This is simply because we are a product of our environment.

You almost can’t HELP but grow up a certain way with that upbringing.

Now let’s press the reset button.

::POP::

Let’s presume instead that you grew up much like Steve Jobs, the man behind one of the biggest companies in the world (Apple) that completely revolutionized many industries.

Your parents would be blue collar people, but focused on fine craftsmanship.  Your are growing up in the heart of a developing Silicon Valley.  Everyone of your neighbors is an engineer of some sort….building new and exciting things at the top technology companies on the planet.  Most of your friends are extremely into the newly emerging field of computers….and you all get together and tinker with them on a daily bases.

Your friends are curious kids who constantly tinker with technology, and all of their parents encourage that.

People who live near you are CEO’s of large technology companies which are changing the world.  Entrepreneurs all around you are taking new technologies and making products out of them.

There’s a buzz in the air brewing with new technology and excitement.

Now….how do you think we’d turn out in that environment?

I bet it would be radically different from the small blue-collar upbringing wouldn’t it?

Your interests would be different.

Your thoughts would be different.

Your ambitions would be different.

What you think is POSSIBLE in your life is totally different.

All because you’re the product of your environment.

Now, am I saying that unless you were fortunately placed in some amazing area in an amazing time in history…that you’re doomed?

No…not one bit.  In fact, most successful people spring from drastically different environments.  Often from extraordinarily poor backgrounds.

So how do we break the mold that 98% of the people around us blindly follow?

I’ll tell you how it can be done.

Everyone can do these things….but most don’t.

The materials you need to break out of the mold are available to almost everyone….but most don’t really follow through.

They simply sit back comfortably in their familiar life and idle along.

For a lot of people that’s ok….but for a select few….the desire to break out itches and rubs until they MUST take action.

But before I tell you some specific steps to break out of this mold…let me explain the principle behind this.

You are the composite average of the top five people you hang around.

Did you get that?

You are the composite average of the top five people you hang around.

This phrase is simply a variation of the quote “We are a product of our environment” ….but I like this one better because it’s extremely specific.

You are the composite average of the top five people you hang around.

Think about it.

Think about the top five people you spend the most time around.

It can be friends, it can be a roommate, it can be co-workers, it can be a spouse, it can be your family.

Identify the top five people you spend the MOST amount of hours with.

Now look at them.

Do they live the kind of lives you want to live?  Or do you want to avoid living like them?

Do they do the kind of things you want to do?  Or do they involve themselves in activities you find unappealing?

Do they think about the things you like to think about?  Or do they have shallow thoughts and conversations you don’t enjoy?

Do they challenge themselves and others to become better?  Or do they simply coast along with their lives?

What did you answer?

Do you like the people you hang around the most?

Would you like to one day grow up like them?

If yes….then you’re well on your way.  Because… you are the composite average of the top five people you hang around.

However if you DO NOT want to become like the people around you…..you are facing some trouble.  Because… you are the composite average of the top five people you hang around.

However, I promised you that we can change this.  Even if you’re not able to extract yourself completely from your environment.

Let’s get started fixing this problem immediately.

The goal here is to become influence by GREAT people who have legitimately achieved GREAT things.  And here’s a way to get DIRECTLY INFLUENCED by some of the greatest humans in history.

Read.

That’s it.  Read.

It sounds so simple…but let me explain a little more.

Read auto-biographies where great people first-handedly describe their lives.

It’s incredible what you’ll pick up from these.

You’ll learn how they handled problems.

How they think.

How they defied odds.

You’ll learn about their triumphant successes….as well as all the miserable failures it took to reach them.

You’ll learn what they did at every stage in life.

Now simply reading ONE persons life history isn’t good enough.

I admire many world-famous musicians for their talents and accomplishments, but I personally wouldn’t want to live lives… like theirs.

However I can still read about them and emulate certain aspects of their success.

I remember reading an interview with the famous Comedian Jerry Seinfeld….and they asked him if he was a Scientologist because a reporter found out he attended a few Scientology classes.

He denied being a Scientologist and said:

“These kind of things are like going to the supermarket.  You go to the supermarket and there’s all this stuff, most of which you don’t need.  You simply go in, pick up the items you want, then leave.”

Now that’s marvelous isn’t it?

In one simple explanation he said that you can learn different things from different places.  You may not agree with everything one guru, one author, or one celebrity ….but you CAN learn small nuggets about their success from hearing their stories.

This is why it’s important to immerse yourself with intelligent and successful people.  Even if you don’t have any around you….you can easily obtain books they’ve written.

In this era, we can even load up video interviews over the Internet instantly with virtually any celebrity, businessman or success story.

We can watch these things and learn little golden nuggets from each.

Go to your local library and browse the biographies and auto-biographies.  Find a name that appeals to you…it can be a celebrity, businessman, sports star….whoever.  And read about their life.

See how they overcame obstacles.

See how they got certain lucky breaks.

See how they handled stressful situations.

See how they broke the mold of the people around them.

The more you read, the more you will start noticing patterns, and the more YOU will start emulating those people you so admire.

You see….if you want to become like someone….you can simply act like them!

This is an amazing little mind hack that can work wonders.

Do you admire a certain successful person?

Whenever you’re presented with a situation.  Do what they would do.

Act like they would act.

Participate in activities they participate in.

There’s a famous quotation that says, “Success leaves clues.”

It means if you see someone successful…you can follow in his or her footsteps to have better odds at becoming more successful yourself.

If you live in a negative environment, immersing yourself in these kinds of books or materials can completely change your life.

So let’s quickly re-cap what we’ve talked about here tonight:

If you analyze the top 5 people you hang around….and you want to turn out like them, then you’re in great company.

However if your circle of influence could use a little work….then you can either start eliminating some of those people….or adding more influences through books, videos, interviews….all the above.

But keep in mind….you must read A LOT for this to work.  Enough to where these successful people you admire become a bigger influence than the negative people around you.

Doing this can completely change your thoughts.

And therefore completely change the course of your life.

It has for millions of people, and can work for you too.

This is Neville Medhora.  Goodnight.