“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn

This quote reminds me of the importance of cultivating a tribe. It reminds me of a literary tour of New Orleans where the guide pointed out the place, Hemmingway, Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams used to sip absinthe, chase women and argue about the perfect prose. Not all of us are privileged enough to spend the majority of our time with our five. I don’t think I’m quite there so this is a bit aspirational but here are are some criteria for my favorite go-to gurus (3 out of 4 is just fine.)

  • Do they inspire me, either intellectually, artistically, or as a human?
  • Do they broaden my horizons and challenge me to see things in different ways?
  • Are they succeeding in a way that resonates with me and can I learn from them?
  • Do I trust them and do we have a basis of mutual respect?

We are sometimes too shy or feel unworthy to ask to spend time with these folks. Some ways to get around this.

  • Read or follow their content
  • Volunteer to help them
  • Better yet explicitly offer a few ways that you can help them
  • Cultivate your own energy by creating opportunities to shine