Every person is wired for community. Even though you might think you’re better flying solo, it turns out that we are all actually hard-wired for connection, empathy, and mutuality. We’re all made this way. It’s in our DNA.
As a result, community has become an increasingly important concept in the workplace. The popularity of co-working spaces has skyrocketed. The idea of creating the ideal “corporate culture” has been replaced by cultivating a positive “corporate community.”
Being a Millennial, I’m grateful for the focus that’s being placed on community. However, I think it’s important for us to take a step back and evaluate the kind community we’re pursuing.
Are we being intentional about the community we’re creating? Are the people we consider “our community” helping to shape us into the kind of people we should become.
While the idea of community is important, the type of community we surround ourselves with is paramount.
Why Your Community Matters More than You Think
Entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn summed the reason for this up best when he said,
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, including yourself.”
As someone who craves community, this is a quote I’ve taken to heart since first reading it. The community we surround ourselves with most has the most influence on the people we become. This equation rings true whether you’re 13 or 83.
How to Intentionally Create a Community That Makes You Better
With this principle in mind, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
• Who are your five people (outside of your family)? Think about the people who you surround yourself with most outside of the home. More than likely, it’s a combination of coworkers and friends. Identifying these people will help you clearly answer the questions to come.
• Do these people embody the characteristics you want to portray to others? How do you want people to describe you? Now evaluate your community with those characteristics in mind. Would you describe those people as having the traits you admire? If yes, great. If not, it might be time to look to find a different community.
• Are these people ultimately headed in the same direction you want to go? Finding people who share a commitment to achieve something in life makes a tremendous difference. They can challenge you and push you to become the best version of yourself. They can encourage you when it’s needed because you’re all working towards becoming something more significant. Granted, people can have set backs, but ultimately the five people we spend most of our time with should be pursuing the same kinds of goals and dreams we want to achieve.
• Is there anyone you respect and admire that needs to be in your community? The most valuable thing we can do for personal growth is to surround ourselves with people who will make us better. Is there anyone in your network who could help you grow? Reach out to them. They’ll never be in your top five if you’re not intentional about connecting with them.
Nothing has influenced my personal growth more than the community of people I’ve surrounded myself with. They provide insights into challenges I could never think of on my own. They challenge me to be a better husband, employee, and friend.
If you want to make significant strides in your life this year, be intentional about the five people you associate with most.
How are you applying this principle when it comes to your community?