Now, more than ever, it’s critical to foster relationships that improve your life.

Think, for just a moment, about your own “inner circle.”

We’re talking about the roughly half-dozen or so people you surround yourself with the most. Go ahead and visualize each and every one of them right now.

Who is on that list? More importantly, what positive aspects do these people bring to your life?

Even in the era of social distancing, we still feel that inborn, human desire to create and maintain relationships with others. As it turns out, who we surround ourselves with really determines the course of our lives in ways both measurable and immeasurable.

Motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn once famously said, “You are the average of the five adults you spend the most time with,” and, to be honest, he hits the nail on the head with this assessment. If you surround yourself with people who are constantly speaking badly of others and generally down on life, guess what? You will be, too. However, if you associate with people who maintain a sunny (but realistic) outlook on life, you’re likely to be influenced by that, as well.

Principle 25

If you’ve read “The Success Principles,” you’re already familiar with Principle 25. For those new to these ideas, it’s a simple one: stop associating with the “Ain’t It Awful” crowd. You know these people already. They look at negative headlines and only see doom and gloom instead of hope and opportunity. They see someone fail at a courageous act and snicker to themselves, “yeah, what did you expect?”

Fact: you don’t need these people in your life. Put simply, they’re bringing you down.

The corollary is also true. When you are around people who are good at spotting the silver lining in every cloud and are unafraid to take risks that will better their lives, your life will start to improve. You might not even notice it at first, but over time you’ll begin to emulate their morning routines, take on their mannerisms and generally put yourself in the proper frame of mind for achieving the goals you’re most passionate about.

These are the people you need in your life.

Where to Begin

There are a few creative ways to go about surrounding yourself with the latter type. Here are some to get you started.

  • Find a mentor/coach: There’s no better coach than someone who has already achieved goals similar to yours. Whether it’s an experienced coworker or someone you admired while growing up, connect with people who are living some version of your dream already and move on to step two.
  • Listen and learn: Once you have a mentor or coach in place, it’s time for the real hard work to begin. This is where your ability to listen and “be a sponge” will prove most valuable. Actively listen and ask questions along the way. You can learn just as much from others’ “failures” as you can from their successful ventures. Maybe even more.
  • Interview successful people: Successful people are not as unapproachable as you might imagine. The sign of a true leader is someone willing to share their war stories, trials and tribulations so others can learn from them. Take a shot and set goals for how you might possibly meet with — and eventually interview — someone you admire. You won’t regret doing this.

If you have a single takeaway from this blog, let it be this: it’s vital to make a conscious effort to surround yourself with people who believe in you. People who not only encourage you to go after your dreams but applaud you when you achieve them. We all need more idealists, thinkers and doers in our life. You likely already know who you want to associate yourself with, so what are you waiting on?

Learn more about how to surround yourself with successful people and get a solid, step-by-step plan for doing so by ordering my new book, “The Success Principles Workbook” today.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of Brooke Cagle.