Your Friends or Your life – The One Area of Change We Tend to Overlook

It is no secret that if you want to improve and succeed in your life, you need to make certain changes. Material items are always the easiest to change but the truth is that they have the least effect on our mentality. The one area of change we tend to overlook that greatly influences the success of the change we seek is our social networks.

 “Your “inner circle” of friends is the biggest catalyst for future life outcomes. This is for both happiness and success.” ~ Charles Chu

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the area of biosocial science, investigating the biological predicates and consequences of social phenomena.

Through his research, he discovered the following:

  • If your friends are, for instance, overweight you are 45% more likely to be overweight.
  • If your friend’s friends are overweight you are 25% more likely to be overweight.
  • If your friend’s friend’s friends are overweight you are still 10% more likely to be overweight.

He concludes that it is not until you are four degrees separated in your social network that the people in your social network no longer have a direct effect on you.

This is not a call to judgment of one’s current social circles. It should be approached more as a realization that every different season of your life requires a different set of influencers.

Consciousness is contagious, said Einstein. Your life is your gift to yourself. You have to embrace the role of being its conscious author. Who you spend time with matters. Choose wisely.

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