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When reading about the friends you should keep for the best results in life – I found that depending on whether it was from a self-development guru or a financial guru complete opposite suggestions would be given. That’s why here, we will take a quick look at what I call the close friends paradox.

“Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.”

– Thomas J. Watson

Self-development guru’s

You are the average of the five people you spent the most time with. Sound familiar? This is a very common concept if you wish to develop yourself to be the best you want to be. In this scenario, your closest friends should be “higher” or at least not “below” you, in order to push yourself to match their life style.

Financial guru’s

The people you spent the most time with are causing you to “keep up with the Joneses”. Similar here is that you try to mimic those around you, but in the financial sense this could be dangerous. Therefore, in this scenario, your closest friends should be “lower” than you, or at most equal.

Coming together

Let’s have a look whether these life view can be merged.

  • Development focus = skills & goals
  • Financial focus = earning & spending

Earning and goals can come together and this is where the paradox would lie. IF you would want to become a higher earner, one would need to surround themselves with people who earn more to learn how to also earn more.

However, it might lead to overspending before reaching the actual high earnings goal, due to also following a spending pattern of those who earn more (“keeping up with the Joneses”).  BUT this follows only if high income equals high spending, reality suggests that this could be highly plausible.

What follows is that surrounding you with people that have obtained the results you wish to mimic might indeed create positive habits, but also unintended negative habits! Therefore, Personal – and/or career development can be detrimental for your financial progression if life style inflation is not warded off in advance.

What kind of friends do you have? Are they the best you could wish for? Let them know by sharing this article with them right away! 

Let me know if you want to hear more about this topic and I might expand on it in the future!

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