My mentor Jim Rohn used to tell me, "You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with," and there's a lot of truth to this. Chances are, if the five people closest to you all like to go out partying and don't take care of themselves, you probably don't either. But if they love to hit the gym and watch what they eat, then you're more likely to be healthier too.
Of course, there are exceptions, but in general, we learn a lot from our surroundings. We're sophisticated animals that excel at copying each other. This is largely where things like culture, slang, accents, and even traditions come from. People learn each other's habits and adopt each other's mindsets after spending large amounts of time with each other.
And that's why it's no surprise that most successful people on this planet would tell you that a lot of their success is because of their mentors. Martin Luther King had Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates had Warren Buffet. These people had someone in their lives who was already massively successful, and they learned from them. They adopted their mentor's habits and mindset, and eventually, that brought them success.
Now, you might say, "Well, I don't have any successful people in my life. My friends are just average people." But that's where reading comes in. Reading is like having a one-on-one conversation with a successful person. You can learn from their experiences and adopt their mindset and habits just like you would if you were hanging out with them in person.
The true benefit of reading is that you can pick and choose whom you want to add to your inner group of influence, which will eventually affect whom you become as a person. When you read, you get a glimpse into the mind of the author. There are so many books out there written by successful people in different fields, just waiting to be shared. If you wanted to go on a meditation retreat with Gandhi, talk politics with Martin Luther King, or even get business advice from Warren Buffet, all you have to do is immerse yourself in reading their words, and you'll get a glimpse into their world and their way of thinking.
You will have essentially added a new friend to your group of friends. A friend who is most likely older and wiser, on top of being significantly more successful. And when you do that, you start adopting some of their mindsets and their habits because that's what we do as humans: we copy each other. And this is what eventually brings you closer to success.
So, challenge yourself to read more. Make it a goal to read a certain number of books per month or per week and stick to it. You never know, you might just end up adding a new, successful friend to your group of friends. My personal goal is to read 100 books per year for at least 10 years, and in this blog, I'll share with you summaries of some of the best books that I'll be reading. I make those summaries because I once read in a book, “You actually don’t understand something, until you can explain it to somebody else so that they do understand it.” Join me in my self-development journey and let’s grow together.