Growing up I often heard my father remind my siblings and me that hot and cold mix to make lukewarm. That was his way of telling us not to spend our precious time hanging out with the wrong crowds. As any youngster I wasn’t thrilled to be told what to do, but something about Dad’s words or the way he said it left me determined not to end up “lukewarm”. He didn’t elaborate too much on his statement, so as a kid I developed my own understanding of what exactly this lesson meant. Thinking high of his own sons and daughters, no doubt, he considered us to be on the “hot” end of the spectrum and his advice was that the more we affiliated with the wrong people the more their characteristics would rub off on us.
As years passed, I had my share of the so called “hot” people I had let into my life and definitely a few “cold” ones too. I didn’t really reminisce on the whole “lukewarm results” idea until recent times. I was reminded of it when I came across a statement from Jim Rohn on how we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. I could relate to this on so many levels!
Whether we want it or not, whether we are consciously aware of it or not – the people we choose for our innermost circles of communication, have significant impact on us. The results of that influence seep through to all areas of our life: affect the choices and decisions we make, the way we talk, the way we dress, and even the way we view ourselves and our surroundings. This concept is based on the law of averages which states that every situation is an average of all possible outcomes, just like lukewarm can be rightfully viewed as an average of hot and cold temperatures.
Of course, the “hotter” the people you surround yourself with, the better results you can expect. This doesn’t mean that you have to strive to hang out only with Tony Robbins caliper people, get all judgmental about those around you and allow any feelings of superiority. But if you are consistently the smartest person in your regular circles, then the law of averages will work against your best interests. So, without making things personal it’s best to take control of where our time is spent and how much value is in the relationships we keep alive. With value being a two way street, it works best if you and your top five complement each other with your strong suits, inspire and empower each other, provide honest feedback, and most importantly, constantly raise the bar.
Your top five can be handpicked from the everyday people in your life – your friends, family members, mentors, co-workers, business partners, teachers or pretty much anyone else as long as they will help you raise your average. One last point: five is a good number for this law to work. At the same time, to me it’s only a reference number, not something to get stuck on. The old adage of choosing quality over quantity works well when it comes to the active relationships we maintain in our life. So, no matter how many people you choose to spend your time with, make sure they are not turning you into a “lukewarm” person.