You Are Kind of Like The Earth...

There's a bad 'Your Mama' joke in that title somewhere.

You’ve heard the quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, in some form or fashion. 

Reading it face value, the people you spend your days with — your partner, close friends, co-workers, and close family — all influence and impart what your life looks like. Think about I­t­ like you are the layers of the earth in a classic science textbook. You’ve got the inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust. If you were to travel from crust to core, like you’re in the magic school bus or you’re Aaron Eckhart in the movie, /The Core/, each layer gets harder and harder to go deeper, and also harder to change.

The inner core is solid.

It’s who you are: where you were born, your experiences, your values, and beliefs. The core is your DNA and what you learn about the world when you were child.

The outer core flows.

It’s filled with swirling hot questions, 
I­t­ also swirls with your fears, doubts, desires, dreams,

The mantel is your habits, routines, actions, and thoughts.  

The mantel is what you do and how you live. It’s a reflection of your inner workings and an amalgamation of your hopes and dreams.  The mantel is war. It’s a continuous battleground of your external world and your internal core. Sometimes those two forces align and your actions and values are in sync. Other times, you external experiences don’t match your core, which leaves you with a multiple choice decision: 

A. Never waver on your inner core. Always make decisions based on who you are instead of who someone else wants you to be.

B.  Test your inner core. Does this change/decision make more sense than what I currently hold true? And if so what do I need to change?

C. Waver. Let the bosses, gatekeepers, bullies, negative Nancy’s or even villainous people compromise who you are. This sounds so dramatic. Usually, we don’t waver with the big stuff. 
Compromise is deadly because it’s subtle shifts, not immediate 180 changes. 

The mantel is where dreams are made, through hard work and effort. But it’s also where bad habits, anger, and negativity can take over.

D. Do nothing. Choose nothing. Which typically defaults to choosing C. When we are indecisive, we let other peoples decisions rule us.

And finally the crust.

The crust is the easiest to enter but can be thickened by experience. Setbacks, failures, hard times, rejection — anything that tells you no, but doesn’t wear you down. 

This is where we are the most influenced by new ways of thinking and living well, but also where we are the most susceptible to bad actors. 
If you hear *no* too often, especially in an area where you, not battle hardened by experience, you start to believe it. ‘Everyone around me tells me I️ can’t do I­t­.’ Depending on your outer fortitude and inner core values, this will either fire you up to prove them wrong and do I­t­ anyway, or shut you down and change the way you think and act about yourself in a small way. 

“I’ll prove them wrong” versus “I️ guess I️ can’t, I’m no good at this, who am I️ to think I️ could do this?”

For millions of reasons, most people want you to be like them more instead of being like you. Maybe it’s because they decided to give up. They didn’t do I­t­, so they h*ll’s for sure don’t want you to do I­t­. Because if you do and succeed, I­t­ directly highlights the fact that they compromised their core.

Every layer down reflects every layer up, and vice-versa. If you were born in an environment of trust and love, you are more likely to trust others, and give them the benefit of the doubt. You’re open to influence more easily, which can be good or bad depending on your circumstances.

Rather, if you were born in an environment of distrust and fear, you refuse to let anyone in. It’s you against the world. Your outer layer is thick with mistrusting first. This isn’t necessarily your fault, but I­t­ is your challenge to overcome if you want to be able to have people in your life you love and trust.


Who you are is directly related to who you surround yourself with, because your surrounds influence your actions, and your actions influence your beliefs about yourself and the world.

If you hate yourself, find new friends who love you for being you, and want to see you succeed. If you hate your actions, surround yourself with people who inspire you and motivate you to take better actions, and work harder for a better life. And if you feel compromised, or discouraged, or empty, or overruled by the opinion that others have on you: lose them. You matter too much to be a slave to someone else thoughts of how your life should be. It’s never too late to start over. Even if you hate everything about your current life, start building a new one. No one can tell you that you can’t. But if they do, who cares? Do it anyway.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing
And wherever you are in life, keep smiling :)
— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." — Oprah Winfrey

"To all the other dreamers out there, don't ever stop or let the world's negativity disenchant you or your spirit. If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible." — Adam Green

"Surround yourself with people who support you. Find champions." — Sarah Gavron

Book Pairings

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn