Who do you spend the most time with? Who are the people you most admire? Are those two groups of people the same? If not, why not? The people with whom you habitually associate are called your “reference group.” According to research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard, your “reference group” determines as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life.
I recently read these words in Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect and was immediately struck by the fact that I spend the overwhelming majority of my time with a group of people seeking successful ways to manage their weight. Are they my “reference group”? Do they determine 95 percent of my success or failure in life? Perhaps I am their “reference group” and am an important part of determining 95 percent of their success or failure in life. In either case, I am sure we are influencing each other in more ways than we care to admit. I know I am a healthier, more caring facilitator and person because of my experiences with these determined people. I hope they become healthier, happier and more empowered because of their experiences with me.
Who composes your own “reference group”? Self-help guru Jim Rohn taught that we become the combined average of the five people we hang around the most. We eat what they eat, talk like they talk, read what they read, think like they think, watch what they watch, treat people like they treat them and even dress like they dress. So … who is influencing you?