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Are Your Closest Friends Secretly Holding You Back?

Here’s One Important Lesson Learned From Studying Billionaires…


Warren Buffett states that you are the average of the 5 closest people around you.

Would you agree ?

According to him and many other successful public figures, who you surround yourself with is an important variable in your success.

Naturally, this makes sense.

The people we choose to spend our time with influence our thoughts, emotions, and topics of conversation that arise during our time spent with them.

And therefore, its logical to assume that people of success experience different thoughts, emotions, and topics of conversation with their inner circle.

Additionally, its logical to assume that unhappy people also experience thoughts, emotions, and topics of conversation that arise due to their nature and who they surround themselves with.


As the founder of Leave Normal Behind, I am always connecting with individuals who are rising above normal by becoming the best version of themselves and creating things that matter.

I enjoy highlighting my experiences with these individuals who share life-altering information that is beneficial if you implement it.

Success leaves clues and if we pay attention we can see fundamental principles of success that work for everyone.

I’m excited to share this insight from an incredibly successful, millennial entrepreneur.


Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds and tech entrepreneur, has made it his mission to study the habits of billionaires to see what sets them apart from the rest of the world.

Billionaires operate differently than millionaires.

Through close study, Gabrielli has learned billionaire principles employed by mentors such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Howard Hughes and Elon Musk.

He has used these principles to generate more than $20 million in online revenue, build a company that employs more than 40 people, travel around the world, and donate $1 million dollars to charity in the process.

Gabrielli credits his success to his curated inner circle.

He says, “You can experience increased levels of success and happiness if you take a hard look at who you spend the most time with.”

And this is directly in-line with Warren Buffet’s thinking.

If you are around 5 sad people, you will surely be the 6th sad person.

If you are around 5 happy people, you will surely be the 6th happy person.

Additionally if you are 5 lazy people, you will surely be the 6th lazy person.

And lastly, if you are around 5 goal-oriented people, you will surely be the 6th goal-oriented person.

Have you ever thought, “What if I’m being held back by the negative people in my life and I do not even realize it?”

It is important to realize the bad effects of those who are intentionally, or more often, unintentionally harming you more than they are helping you.

Keeping these people away from you can increase the vitality and success in all areas of your life.

You must protect your financial, mental and even spiritual mindset!

The unseen effects can have a greater impact than you may realize, and it’s described here:

“Every individual whom you interact with affects the flow of energy in your body. Some flow with positivity spreading love and compassion, making you happy. Others flow like venom, harming you. The question is what to do with these negative people? The answer … simply throw them out of your life and not let them affect you anymore.” -Neelam Saxena Chandra


People who are passive aggressive, pessimistic or discouraging only serve to decrease your net worth and well- being.

Look at the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Are they helping you or harming you?

Deep down, you know the answer to this question already.

If they are harming you, holding you back, making you feel bad, etc then you must limit or end the time you spend with them.

Sometimes these people are our family members so its difficult to cut them off completely, if this is the case then limit your interaction and do not let yourself be affected by their way of thinking.

If you can do this you may experience an increase of income and well-being.

And on the flip side, filling your life with successful, goal-oriented people could only assist you.

Successful millionaires habitually make it a point to stay away from toxic individuals.

Be selective with who you choose to have in your inner circle.

Going even further – the bank accounts, health and fitness of your inner circle often reflect your own.

Imagine if you spent one less hour a day with that lazy friend and instead spent that hour reading up on Elon Musk in his recent auto-biography.

What would change?

Your life could start to become more like his and less like that friend’s.

The input you receive controls the output.

Why is it so important to control your environment?

Because your environment is a major variable determining your input & output.

Sometimes people focus so much on improving themselves internally and they forget to improve their immediate environment too.

It’s similar to a seed that needs the right conditions to grow.

It can’t grow if it’s in the wrong environment.

You can give it water and sunlight, but if it has no soil — and is planted in Antarctica — it’s not going to make it.

In a similar way, you cannot suitably grow if you are surrounded by naysayers and bad influences.

No matter what positive efforts you make.

Take the action steps necessary to rid yourself of the negative or unhelpful people in your life.

Add positive people into your inner circle who will supplement, enhance and multiply what you are doing.


Here is a simple exercise you can do to begin curating your 5 closest people with more intention and purpose:

1. Get a piece of blank paper. Write down the 5 people you talk to and spend the most time with.

2. Rate them good, bad or average in terms of money, health and work. Then ask: Should you listen to them or not in these areas?

3. Do they think in big terms or small terms? Positive or negative? Big thinking or small thinking? Open minded and close minded? How much is in their bank account?

4. Do they try to help me ?

5. How much time should you spend with them, if at all?


I’m going to leave you with this pragmatic insight from Warren Buffett, “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction .”

In order to Leave Normal Behind and become the best version of yourself you need to surround yourself with others who are doing the same.

Firstly, it starts with you.

Be someone that successful people want to be around.

Take action in your daily life and provide value to others.

If you, or anyone you know, is leaving normal behind and deserves to be featured by me please email [email protected]

Originally published at medium.com

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