Have Loincloth, Will Travel

With the new year upon us, many of us will make the silent vow to take steps that will hopefully yield us more success, health, or happiness than we’d achieved in the past year. Some will try to give up smoking, or promise to hit the gym more often, or maybe just read more books. I am resolved, perhaps as you should, to strengthening my tribe.
It’s a fairly common thought that we are the average of our 5 closest friends. Some believe that this is true in regards to finances and how much money we make compared to our friends, and others focus on how their happiness or intelligence compares, but is there any truth to this?

The short answer is Yes!, those closest to you can lead to more success, happiness, better health, and even a longer life!

Digging deeper, are your friends keeping you from being healthy? The Framingham Heart Study found a link between friends and obesity. It’s not much of a leap to see that if your friends are all making poor health choices, you’ll automatically be in a more difficult position to do any better.

What about happiness? We all know the saying, “Misery loves company,” and there’s some truth to that. If you surround yourself with generally unhappy people, it will inevitably bring you down. There’s hope, however! A study published in the British Medical Journal found that happiness is contagious as well! Surround yourself with people who know to see life in a positive light, those who believe that failures are lessons and that challenges are opportunities, and you too might find a way to look on the bright side of life.

What about longevity? In the video below, Dan Buettner talks about studies conducted regarding people over 100 years of age, also known as centenarians.

These people, from all over the world, share many things in common. Their tribe, their closest group of friends, are believed to be a huge contributing factor to their longevity.

As you can see, there’s truth in the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” So, if you’re looking for ways to turn things around this year, perhaps you might want to give some consideration to those around you who may be inadvertently holding you back?

Take a minute and seriously contemplate what your tribe looks like, could it use some shuffling?