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You Are What You Read

When I was a kid, my dad used to give me a stern sideways glance and say, “you are who you choose to be friends with.”

It always drove me insane. I am ME, I reassured myself uneasily. I’m not so easily influenced by other people.

But was that really true? Even back then, I knew there was something to this notion.

Have you heard this kind of thinking before? Perhaps you’re familiar with this expression: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

In my adult life, I see how true this really is. While we are all independent beings shaped by our values, beliefs and life experiences, we’re actually pretty darn malleable. We shift, grow, and change our minds all the time.

This deep desire we all have to chase learning, to keep expanding and changing is what makes us uniquely human.

And while it’s awesome, it’s worth pointing out that we are influenceable.

People rub off on us, for better or for worse, because you wanted to be like them… or because you spent enough time with them for it to just happen.

On a similar tangent, Fizzler Matthew E. recently posed this question in the Fizzle forums:

“So they say that you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with and I’m wondering, does Fizzle count?”

This got me thinking.

We’ve all heard that we should carefully consider the company we keep, but do we take the same care in selecting who we read, listen and pay attention to online?

So I want to ask you: are you intentionally, strategically choosing who influences you online?

If you were to sit the websites, blogs, podcasts, Instagram accounts and YouTube channels in a circle around you, what do you see? Do you want to emulate them? Do they inspire you to greatness?

Or, does some of what you choose to consume bring you down? Annoy you? Make you feel “less than” in some way?

What does your media consumption make you feel?

If the answer is anything less than “inspired, equipped, positive and supported”, I challenge you to evaluate the thoughts, ideas and vibes you let into your precious heart and incredible mind.

What you read, listen to and watch matters. Be fiercely protective of who you follow — before long, they’ll influence your entire direction.

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