Real Life Limitless Part 4: Surroundings

Update: 10/17/14

I’ve posted an entry on self-mastery that covers both self-control and self-discipline, and I’m posting a link to it here because I think that self-mastery was the missing piece of my Real Life Limitless Series. Read it here.


This series is my own ethos; a formula for ‘success’ that contains the ingredients that I believe are paramount to becoming limitless in our own lives.

You can read the previous editions below:

Part 1: Omnipotent Beliefs

Part 2: Act Accordingly

Part 3: Habits

For the final edition of my Real Life Limitless series, I am going to talk about surroundings. This isn’t a very long post, but I think it’s important enough to take note of.

One of the most valuable pieces of advice I have been given was this:

Take your five closest friends, average their income and that will be your income.

This came from someone who at the time, was the most monetarily successful people I’d ever known; I was 19 and I really took this to heart.

But, I didn’t just take this at face value. It would have been fairly easy to do so though; the person who dealt this piece of advice to me lived in one of the richest zip codes in America.

As it is often quipped ‘we are who we hang out with’ – we generally share their habits and tend to hold similar beliefs. We tend to be an average of our friends. Sure, some will skew this and having rich friends alone does not make you rich, but if you want to succeed – it would behoove you to surround yourself with other successful people, and you’ll have a hard time disproving this belief if you look around at other successful people.

This post isn’t about deconstructing a single quote, but it is about recognizing the impact your environment has on you. Our habits, beliefs, ambition, happiness, intelligence etc, ad infinitum – tend to be a reflection – an average of the people around us.

Now, the law of averages is not representative of reality – but human nature is. And human nature is to surround ourselves with similar people.

Perhaps you think the aforementioned piece of advice is shit. But that’s fine. I don’t believe in anyone holding a belief that does not empower them on some level. You don’t have to subscribe to this. Just be aware of the effect your peers and surrounding environment has on you.

I don’t look for people with money to hang out with – I look for people who are similar to what / where I want to be.

On a personal note – there have been times when this has not been possible. I just didn’t have the ‘right’ people to surround myself with, so I often choose solitude over the company of others that would have a negative impact on my well being.

Often it might not be possible to interact with the type of people who we can aspire to be similar to, but this should not stop you. I’ve read countless stories of successful people ‘modeling’ others prior to their success and I’ve known numerous people in real life who have done the same and both were usually in the form of self directed study.

So, if you have to – read books; go to the library; go the lectures; stop hanging out with losers if you have to.

Your surroundings will help shape your beliefs, goals, habits, and more.

The mind is a very fertile ground. If you want to be limitless you cannot afford to pollute yours with the wrong frequency. It’s a narrow road to the top, but trust me – it’s not lonely there.

You’re born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you’re up in the rarefied atmosphere and you’ve forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son.  – Layer Cake

Success is a layer cake; don’t forget the human element – and remember, no man is an island.

And that is my two cents on surroundings. If I’ve made you think – then I’ve succeeded. Hopefully you can look at your surroundings as an important piece of the puzzle.