CHAPTER 2 Principle 2: Proximity is power

Personal development speaker and businessman Jim Rohn says, ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ This theory, known as the average of five, applies to just about everything in life — from your weight, your health and your behaviour to your finances and ultimately your success.

In business your success will reflect that of the average of the five closest business colleagues you spend the most time with. In love, your relationships will reflect the average of the five closest friends you spend your time with — are they, for instance, happily married or divorced? You will weigh the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Organisations such as Weight Watchers already know the profound impact existing relationships have on a person’s ability to lose weight and regain their health. In fact, friends and family can often be the least supportive, especially if they too are overweight.

Proximity is power.

When I was 16 years old I moved out of home to go and live with my older brother Ben. I was going to college, I couldn’t drive and there was no public transport, so I moved in with Ben because his flat was closer to college than my parents’ house. I remember one night I decided to have a party. I’d landed the role of Scarecrow in the college production of The Wizard of Oz and thought it would be great to invite everyone, so I told my friends and they told their friends. When Ben arrived ...

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