Have you ever heard the following quote?

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

Its originator is a fellow by the name of Jim Rohn, a popular personal growth author and motivational speaker of the late 20th century.

This quote must have struck a nerve with the popular consciousness because it has been used a lot to illustrate exactly what it means:  you’re going to be like the five people you hang out with the most.

So who are you the average of?

This is something I had to ruminate over a great deal when I decided to quit my daily weed habit.  Even though I had heard this quote many times, I chose to remain ignorant of its full meaning until I knew it was time to make a significant change in my life.

Continuing my weed habit was also choosing to live a life of mediocrity and unfulfilled dreams which brought me face to face with another timeless quote:

“The truth hurts”

Oftentimes the truth hurts so much that we choose to ignore it.

Four of the five people I spent the most time with outside of work smoked weed on a regular basis.  Whenever we were together, we smoked weed.

I don’t spend near as much time with these people as I used to.  This is not to say I don’t consider them my friends, they’re just no longer the people I hang out with the most.

I never came out and proclaimed to them “Hey guys, I gotta cut down on my weed smoking so we can’t hang out anymore.”  They saw mainly from my actions rather than words that I was moving in a different direction and got the hint.

I still care about these people but I care about myself as well.  At any time if any of them want to start moving in the same direction I want to go, I will gladly start spending more time with them again.

By the way, one of them did decide to cut out the regular weed habit like I did so now we hang out more and keep each other on track.

This is a hard truth that many of you are facing right now.

The thought of upsetting the nature of our friendships is uncomfortable.  How do you do this even if you’re willing to do it?

First off, you don’t have to cut your weed smoking friends out of your life completely.  That’s cruel to you and them and totally unnecessary.   But sooner or later, preferably sooner, you have to show them, mainly through actions than words, your intention to evolve by cutting out your weed habit.

At that point, they will either evolve with you or they won’t.  You have no control over what they do, only what you do.

Those friends who choose stick with their regular weed habit while you’re going in the opposite direction will understand the implication in a fairly short time period – you don’t want to smoke weed all the time anymore and therefore, you won’t hang out the way you used to and when you do, you’re not going to be smoking weed.  It’s as simple as that.

Meanwhile, as you’re growing personally, cultivate both old and new relationships with Rohn’s quote in mind:

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

  • If you hang out with five stoners, you will be a stoner.
  • If you hang out with five people with low aspirations, you will have low aspirations.
  • If you hang out with five cynical people, you will be cynical.

The flip side is admittedly harder but with infinitely greater potential:

  • Hang out with five successful people and you will increase your odds for success.
  • Hang out with five happy people and you will increase your odds for happiness.
  • Hang out with five healthy people and you will increase your odds for health.

One parting thought: 

You will always have plenty of friends as long as you strive to better yourself while also helping others.