in Life

You Are Who You Meet

Folks often say; “You are what you eat”. What does this even mean, anyways? While the underlying meaning is relatively clear (don’t eat junk food or you’ll become unhealthy), the saying itself makes little to no sense. I prefer to subscribe to the “you are who you meet” approach.

I’ve heard several folks say that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Over the past few weeks, I’ve observed myself quite carefully and can confirm that this is mostly true, save for one key element.

Exploring this saying further

The underlying meaning of this saying is true. The meaning is that we tend to take on character traits from those we spend the most time with. 5 is most likely an arbitrary number (human beings love even numbers, yet multiples of 5 seem to be okay as well). I’ve observed within myself key character traits I’ve adopted from my father, my best friend, several team members at Woo and other close friends.

The X-factor

There is a hidden element within this saying which is often overlooked. We choose to react to the world; the world doesn’t dictate our actions. If we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, this is our choice. We subconsciously adopt characteristics we find favourable in others (sometimes, this is misguided- for example, seeing a friend who does well with the ladies, yet he’s an arrogant ass… don’t be an arrogant ass).

This all comes down to observation, analysis and choice, whether we realise it or not.

Conscious choice

Since being keenly aware of this truth, I’ve made far more conscious decisions as to who I spend my time with. While I feel I’ve always done this, I’ve often spent time where I thought it made sense, and later realised I was incorrect. Being more aware has helped to truly value time and who I spend this time with, as well as what I can give of myself to those I spend time with, to ensure they find the time valuable as well.

Thanks to everyone I’ve been spending time with lately, whether at work, at play or in life in general. You’re all amazing and have added immense value to my life.

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