Who Are Your Peeps?
Who are the influencers in your life? I don’t know if “the kids” are still using the word ‘peeps’ to refer to the main people in their lives or not any more, but I am trying to stay hip and relevant in my teenage daughter’s life – so don’t fault me for trying to be cool. As a side note – for some reason I really like those horribly sugary marshmallow Peeps that you get at Easter time, too. I digress.
So, who are the peeps in your life? Who are the people that influence you the most?
Jim Rohn, a very successful and respected motivational speaker states that…
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
How do you feel about that? Do you agree with his statement?
I have to tell you that I am becoming more and more convinced of it the older I get. If you want to know what I am like… get to know the 5 people that I spend the most time with. We become who we hang out with. If you want to know what you are like… look at the 5 people that you spend the most time with.
I think whether or not we agree with that statement may depend on who our top 5 influencers are and whether or not we want to admit that we are like them. If I don’t really want to admit that I am like my influencers… maybe I should consider changing who my influencers are?
Take a look at your life…
Who Really Influences You?
Who are the people that influence you the most? Are they your “family of chance” or your “family of choice?” Your family of chance is comprised of those who make up the family you were born into or maybe the friends you have, because of the neighborhood you were raised in. The younger you are, the more I believe your group of influencers is made up of both, but probably leaning a little heavier on the family of chance side. You are influenced by your parents, your siblings, your extended family, by neighborhood friends, people you go to church with, because that’s where your family goes to church – by your family of chance.
As parents we play a large part in the friends that our children choose – or that we allow them to choose. We as parents tend to be very careful with who we let our kids hang out with. A parent can easily discern who the good and the bad influences are on their kids based on how long it takes them to retrain their children after they spend a day with “that kid.” It’s kind of like how if your kids go to the grandparents’ house for too long and get spoiled by them, you get to be the bad guy for a week or two and bring them back into reality where you can’t eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts and drink Coke for breakfast. If my son and I are hanging out a lot, he acts more like me. If he is with his other 10-11 year old friends – he acts more like a dumb boy (which isn’t too far afield from how he and I act together I guess). But, you get the point.
As you start to get older and mature, you progressively start to make more, hopefully conscious, decisions about who you are influenced by, the people you spend the most time with – your “family of choice.” You choose who to spend time with, you choose whether or not to be around the family who raised you. You get to choose who your friends are based on more than just the immediate proximity to where you live. You also choose who to work for and work with, spending a large amount of time with co-workers. You choose which church to go to and which group within the church you will fit best into and associate with. The older you get, the more you choose your family – the more control you have over your influencers.
Why did you choose them? Or maybe the better question is, did you choose them? I hope that you were deliberate in adding these people into your life. But, what is it about these influencers that made you want to add them into your circle?
Who Should You Surround Yourself With?
Think specifics here. Whose face or name pops into your head when you read these questions? Do your answers look anything like your current influencers?
- If you want to be a good parent – who would you spend time with?
- If you want to be a good husband or a good wife – what couples can you see yourself doing things with?
- If you want to be successful in business – who would you emulate and ask to mentor you?
- If you want to be a good Christian – who do you see yourself talking to, emailing, studying with?
We get that – it makes sense. We see it in our children’s lives, but we aren’t as good at seeing it in our own lives or maybe we just don’t want to see it. We want to believe we are stronger than our children and that we can handle being around people that maybe aren’t the best influence on us, after all the negative influencers are more fun, right? We want to believe that we can be more of an influence than an emulator.
We do well to protect our children while controlling their sphere of influencers and we need to make sure we take that same care and concern with choosing our own influencers. We need to surround ourselves with passionate people, with knowledgeable people, with positive people, with purposeful people, with good people, with Christlike people. We need to steer clear of people that drag us down emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Choose your influencers wisely.
Make sure your peeps are people who inspire possibility in you, people that encourage you, and support you. Be more deliberate with who you allow to influence you. Choose who you put in your corner.
Be the Influencer
In all of this, I think there is also a great need in this broken world for us to do the part of the influencing, too. We need to stop being just the emulators, the ones accepting influence, and start being more of an influencing force in others lives. It doesn’t mean that we should spend an inordinate amount of time with people that could negatively influence us, but we need to help others. We may be someone’s top influencer and not even be aware of it. Be cognizant of the possibility.
Spend time deliberately building others up. Find a strength that you have that seems to be a weakness in someone else and spend time influencing them for the better.
If you don’t like what you see in your circle of influence – change it! You are in control. Be intentional with your sphere of influence, giving and receiving.