Through my twenties I have realized just how important it really is to carefully and intentionally select the people that will be the closest to me. As seasons in our lives change, so do many of the people that are around us. If we do not have a strong core of close friends, we will just change with the seasons and the different people that are around. Having a strong core of close friends is so important to have because our success will be determined by the ones that we allow to be closet to us.
“You are who you hang with”
If all of my friends and people that I hang around are alcoholics, then either I am, or will become the same. That is an extreme example, but the same is true even on a smaller scale. If I spend a lot of time with people that are negative, then I will become a negative person. The only way to prevent this from happening is by changing the group of people that I am spending time with. This is why it is so important to make sure that the people who are closest to us in our lives are people that we want to be more like, not that we are trying to be better than. Example: If I am the best person that I spend time with; then I’m doing it wrong.
“Building an inner circle”
We have to intentionally decide who we will allow to be the closest to us. The people that are the closest to us will be the ones with the most influence on us. One of the keys to living a faithful and success life is by identifying an inner circle of friends carefully. Having a small group of people in our lives that are further along than us, stronger than us in certain areas or even people that just bring out the best in us can change everything! Having this group of people certainly changed my life. I have intentionally built this inner circle with a few guys and it has helped me tremendously. Each of these guys have characteristics in their personality that I want to be more like. As I spend time with them, I begin picking up these characteristics and applying them in my own life.
Building a strong inner circle isn’t easy. It requires us to be intentional and thoughtful. Here are 4 keys that helped me select the right people to be in my inner circle:
1. Compatibility – Are we compatible? Am I more comfortable when they are around, or not around?
2. Experience – Do they have experience in where I want my life to go? Just because they are nice, does not mean they are right.
3. Values – Do they share the same beliefs as me? If not, they will never understand why I do certain things; this can remove unity from the circle.
4. Loyalty – Are they loyal to me and to others in their lives? Do not mistake loyalty for someone who is just being a fan. If they are following you and dropping everything else along the way, they are not loyal people, they are simply a fan of you. You do not want this type of person in your inner circle, because they will not challenge you, your fans will praise you for all you do, good or bad.
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”
We need to remind ourselves to be spending time with people that make us better. We need to keep our inner circle very strong. When we have a strong inner circle, we will be able to reach new levels of personal, spiritual and professional success. Our future is determined by who we spend our time with; if someone was to look at your life right now, where would they say you are going to be in 5 years from now?
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.