The 5 Average: What Impact Your Closest Friends Have


Someone said you are the average of the 5 people closest to you in every area of your life. That thought has stayed with me for a long time. Could it be true? Think about the 5 people whom you are the closest at this point in life. Where are you financially, physically, spiritually in relation to them?

 We grew up hearing about the dangers of peer pressure and not getting “mixed up with the wrong crowd.” People have a way to affect us negatively as well as positively, and in my experience, no relationship is strictly one way. Not for long, anyway. So we influence those around us as much as they influence us.

For the sake of this mental exercise, let’s then assume we ARE the average of the five people closest to us. What are the implications not only for where we are currently in our life journey, but for the next steps to where we want to be?

It’s fair to say there are seasons in our lives that we need different friends. That doesn’t sound very loyal but people change, priorities shift and we might find ourselves stuck in a place we don’t want to be. This is not about a self-serving idea of discarding people who cannot help get us to the top. But about being intentional about those in our lives who can help us grow and hold us accountable to higher performance, standards, and even a stronger faith. These are mentors/friends as well as those whom we mentor who share some of the same values and goals and make the idea of the 5 work.

I have life-long friendships that are dear to me and that I will always have. These are people whom I trust with my heart and life. However, we might not be as close as some of relationships I see daily or “do life” close together for a season, but I know I can count on them and they on me. But often these are not part of the 5.

 How intentional should we be about the 5 people closest to us? Should we just let life happen and not worry about it?

  • Mark Jeffress

    I have never thought of my friendships as intentional. I wish I had. I can look back and see how some of the people who were close to me in years past did not help me at all. But I figure it’s never too late to do the right thing. 

  • Anonymous

    Despite the fact that i did not set out intentionally to choose the friends i have .. am happy with the ones i ended up with …. they challenge me , call me out on my faults and pray with me

  • Rafael

    Olá Maurilio! Eu acredito que as afinidades para “seleção” das 5 pessoas não precisa ser forçada, mas devemos estar atentos e preocupados sim, afinal podemos estar entrando em um relacionamento que não só não nos trará crescimento como também nos prejudicará. Isso já aconteceu comigo… até porquê se não avaliarmos constantemente somos conduzidos a agir e pensar como estas pessoas. Mas tanto no ambito profissional como pessoal devemos  ter amigos para confiar, andar próximos… Muito interessante o post, gostei muito. Abraços, Rafael – Brasil

  • I heard of this same idea a few months ago while listening to a podcast sermon (sorry, I don’t remember which church).

    I think we should be intentional about our close friendships, but allow life to happen and people to enter our lives with an open mind. Being too strategically focused can steal an opportunity to minister or be ministered too.

    That being said I often feel so busy that I don’t have time for friends and I get lonely.

  • Maurilio,  The question sounds like a trick question, but I do believe I should be very intentional with those that surround me.  Shoule we let life happen?  Not a chance.  W

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