Welcome to the Life Lessons on a Sunday podcast – Episode 5. I’m your host Jaimeson and today we are going to examine who we surround ourselves with – why it is important – and if there is anyone that we want to add to the mix, or kick out of our group.  It’s going to be interesting, so let’s get started …

I bet when you saw the title to this episode … “Who Are You Surrounding Yourself With?” that you thought one of two things … first, “Oh, I wonder who she is going to list that I need to know” OR “Oh, great, someone else telling me who I need to be watching, listening to, reading about, etc.”  Well, both thoughts are wrong … to an extent … ha ha.

I’m “technically” not going to list people by name that you should be surrounded by, but I am going to be helping you dig through the layers to see who you should make sure is in your circle – and you just might be surprised by some of my suggestions.

In Episode 3: My 40 for 40 list, I shared a life lesson that I want to work in today …       #28: Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork.

I don’t care who are, you have not achieved or accomplished anything on your own – (hope I’m not being too harsh for you, but the whole point of Life Lessons on a Sunday, is to dig deep and get to the heart of who we truly are) … None of us, even on days when we feel like we’re all alone, or we have climbed that mountain and “feel” like you did it yourself, please remember that you have had someone or a group of people helping you along the way. This could be your family and friends that encourage you, a mentor, someone giving you a “connection”, your job that gives you funds to live on, a book that gave you wisdom or the inspiration to get started, etc. … In all areas of our lives, we are surrounded by a “team” and we are all so blessed to have them!  Today, we’re going to see who is on your team currently and if you need to adjust your team for where you are in your life today.

Have you ever heard the saying by Jim Rohn

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Do you believe this? Who are the five people that you spend most of your time with? Do you think you are the average of them?

From this one saying, a lot, and I mean A LOT … of articles, books, motivational speeches, quote images and this podcast have been made.  The majority of them take it a step further and tell you that these 5 people need to be positive, encouraging, smarter than you, inspirational, yada, yada, yada …

I’m ready to flip this statement on its head … are you with me?

Okay, first up … let’s discuss THE 5 people …

Why only 5 people? I understand that they mean the 5 people that you spend the most time with, but again, why five people – we are more dynamic than 5 people.  But for argument’s sake, let’s do it – right now, take a few seconds and think about who are the 5 people that you spend the most time with … And GO …

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Okay – did you get yours?  I did too – now, let me ask you this question … Are your 5 people, people that you can physically touch – you know them and could give them a hug? Are they all family and friends?

Did you answer yes? I’m willing to bet that 95% of you said YES.

Again, I ask, why 5 people? What is this big notion of 5 people? No one has ever told me that, or I just didn’t retain it!  If I went off my top five that we just listed, I honestly have more than five people in my family; all five of those people could be filled up with just immediate family and then where does that leave me?  Does that leave me to say because I’m investing in and surrounding myself with my five family members that I cannot invest time, energy and myself with mentors, colleagues, close friends?  Basically, I want more than 5 people to shape me, mold me, support me and me to them – so I have decided to look deeper into this notion of “surround yourself with these 5 people”.

I want to change your mind and possibly your “people”.  Are you game? Are you willing to see where I’m going with this?

YAY!!! Okay, this is going to be fun …

First, if you have a moment and you are not driving, I have created a 1 page worksheet to go along with what we will be discussing today. To download and print it, simply go to FOR A LIFETIME dot ORG backslash GUIDES.  It will be titled “YOUR TEAM”. Or, just grab a pen and paper. And if you’re driving … keep two hands on the wheel, sit back and just listen.

NOW … Here’s where we are going to dig deep and hopefully have a mind shift on who we surround ourselves with.

You’ve heard it many times … “You are the company that you keep” … “Be the dumbest person at the table” “Only surround yourself with positive people” and so on …

And while I do agree that you should be around people that love you, support you and want the best for you and that you can learn from, I don’t think it is fair to say that these should be the sum of the five people that you surround yourself with.

If you’re only around people that encourage you to continue the path that you’re on and never question you, or never push you, or never give you constructive criticism, are you really going to grow?  Are they the person that is going to teach you, and help you, and guide you into being your best and reaching your full potential?

So, here’s where we change the game and mind shift …

I say, maybe, just maybe, instead of five people – we have five categories. That’s right, 5 categories of people … and of those five categories, we think about filling each category with 5 people, which automatically gives us up to 25 pretty important people in our lives. Pretty exciting right?

One thing I want us to remember is that, as humans, we change – our thoughts, opinions, education, etc. So, please know that what we do today and who we fill into the categories today, may not always be there … it’s fluid. Which is a good thing because if we stick to or rely on one person for one thing all the time, that’s where we’ll be – STUCK.  Now, before you go and get all huffy-puffy, I’m not talking about changing out spouses or family, I’m talking about people that come into our lives for specific reasons and for specific times. You’ll see as we start to dive into the categories what I’m talking about.

I’m sure there are plenty more categories that we could have to round out our lives and the people that fill it, but I really wanted to focus on the five that I feel directly affect our everyday lives and help shape who we truly are, where our values are.

The five categories are:  Spiritual & Faith, Support & Encouragement, Mentor & Mentee, Growth & Education, and finally “Outside Comfort Zone”.

Let me first explain the type of person I feel should be connected with each category …

SPIRITUAL & FAITH: This is the most personal and deep rooted into who you are category, so I wanted to discuss first. You may or may not be a spiritual person, but you have faith in something.  What do you believe? How did you come to that conclusion? Do you have people in your life that guide you toward your beliefs or away from them? Again, this is very personal, so I will leave you with my list. I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus. I’m working daily on my relationship with him. I do this through the Bible, fellowship at church, K-Love radio, and heart to heart discussions with those closest to me. Just know that there are many ways and people that you can surround yourself with.

SUPPORT & ENCOURAGEMENT: This, to me, is who “they” say are the 5 people you should surround yourself with. The person that encourages you, loves you, supports you, is your biggest cheerleader from the sidelines and always a positive influence in your life.  This is also the person who is there to lift your spirits when you’re having a bad day or feel like you’ve failed.  I would say these amazingly, special people you need to hold on to for dear life … and do the same for them!

MENTOR & MENTEE: For your Mentor, this is someone who you can look up to and that is helping you come up in the ranks. This person is more than likely in your current career field or field you want to be in, a sport/fitness expert, a financial guru or simply someone that has “been there – done that”.  This person could also be the person you want to be when you grow up … ha ha!  This person is a Motivator, someone who will tell you the truth, let you know when you’re going off course, and help you guide you. For your Mentee, this is someone that you are helping. YOU are their mentor. Why is this important? Because let’s be honest, we all need help getting to where we are going and we can’t do it alone. We all need someone to bend down and say I’ve been there and I’m going to help you overcome. Remember, you, yourself, have a mentor or will be looking for one, so it only makes sense that you become one to someone else. This could be someone that is not yet where you are in life. Someone that maybe hasn’t had the experiences that you have or hasn’t quite accomplished what they wanted in their career or someone that has, dare I say, trouble with the law.  Someone that isn’t the best of character, someone that other people may look down upon, someone that is shunned for maybe not having both feet pointing forward. Maybe this person needs you to look at them and put your hand out and say, “I’ve got you. I’m here for you. I’m going to help bring you up to my side.”  Because, here’s the way I look at it … if the notion is that we surround ourselves with 5 people that are better than us or smarter than us, where does that leave us? Those people who we want to surround ourselves with may not let us in because we wouldn’t be one of their 5 people.  We need to always have one hand reaching forward, following our mentor and one hand pulling someone up. If you didn’t have that mentor, where would that have left you five years ago? 10 years ago? When you weren’t as accomplished and you didn’t have both feet pointing forward?

Next up is …

GROWTH & EDUCATION: Now, I’m not going to tell you that these are the professors at universities. Nope, I feel that this special group is full of people, books, videos, and much more that will give you the “tough love” and “teach you” how to be or how to do _________ “fill in the blank”. What is something that you want to learn? This could be anything from a degree in college, a new language, baking, how to swim, how to volunteer at your local YMCA, and the list goes on. These can be individuals that you don’t know. This could be your favorite author because you’ve learned so much from their books. This could be the You Tuber that documented their through hike of the Appalachian Trail, like my husband did and learned some great tips. This could be taking an online business class like I did to learn how to do this podcast (I’m not the most tech savvy). This could be a multitude of people in varying forms of connection and constantly changing, but the goal of this category is for YOU to be constantly growing and educating yourself!

And last, but certainly not least … the fifth category

OUTSIDE COMFORT ZONE: Now, I know just saying … “You need to get out of your comfort zone” makes some people freeze up and shut down the conversation, while others are like … yeah, let’s do this!  So, I actually think those two people need to meet! Ha ha. In all seriousness, the more people you have in this group, the more you will truly find out who you are in your core. Your values, beliefs and traits will change or become more deep rooted – either way, you will grow as a person! So, what type of people should we get for this team and how do we find them? Well, you may already know some of them personally. This person could have totally different views than you.  Whether that be in your thinking of life, marriage, finances, children and the list could go on and on. This person could be the adventurous type, while you might be a stay close to home person or visa versa. Maybe you’re a planner and they are spontaneous. This needs to be someone that is not like you … is not like those that support you … is not like your friends and family.  This needs to be someone who is outside of your comfort zone that you can sit down and look at and have a conversation with face-to-face. Ask questions? Hear their viewpoint – not saying that it’s going to change your mind or their mind, but to open our minds to the possibility that there are other thoughts, beliefs, and ways of life out there that are not like ours. This will get us to try something new, maybe get over a fear, or maybe teach us to not be so “dare devilish”. Who knows, what will come of it, but the hope is that we will have learned more about ourselves and others along the way.

Okay, Now that we’ve got the parameters, per se, for each category, let’s go back to those first five people that you thought of at the beginning of the show.  Where do you feel they best play a role for you, or you for them?  Do they fit into more than one category? I know I have a few people that overlap and that is completely fine … again, there are no rules, just us learning more about ourselves and who we want to surround ourselves with. Now, before we go any further, I will say – if you had someone on your first list of 5 people and they do not fit anywhere (even in you being their mentor and helping them) then it may be time to start distancing yourself and time with that person and see how your life changes. When you do this, notice if you are happier – are you less stressed – are you able to focus on things that improve your life and your community. Just something to think about.

After you’ve written down those five special people, let’s start to fill in at least 1-2 more people in each category. I would even like to see you write down a name that maybe you are scared or nervous to write down because you don’t know them, may never meet them, but they inspire you or you want to learn from them. For example, I have James Wedmore on my list because I am a huge fan of his! Although I do not currently know him, and may never meet him, I am learning from him and want to grow!

Oh, and another thing I wanted to say about these categories … they aren’t inclusive to only people that YOU can benefit from … it’s your job, to include at least one person that you will be there for in each category! Remember, one hand reaching forward and one hand helping someone else!

I hope that this episode has made you think, evaluate and consider who is on your Team. Whether you have 5 people or 25 isn’t the issue, how you spend your time with them is.

Our THOUGHTFUL TIDBIT today comes from Donna S via Facebook. She commented on Episode 4: Being Authentic. Donna says .. “I really enjoyed this week!! Thought provoking!”

Thank you so much Donna, I really appreciate all the support and feedback! My goal is definitely for us to think, expand our horizons, learn what we personally hold true as our values.

I would also love to hear from you … We just finished Episode 5 … what are your thoughts so far? Are the episodes long enough for you? Have the topics been beneficial? Would you like me to include some resources for you to follow up with? Anything and everything – I’m here to listen!

Until Next Sunday …

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