The Importance of the Wolf Pack
“Wait a second, could it be?” And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas – Alan Garner, The Hangover
The wolf pack. For those of you who don’t know, it’s the ingenious creation of a scriptwriter, for an amazing film that started one of the poorest trilogies ever. It describes the group of people that Alan Garner surrounds himself with. He starts off as a loner, and is very choosey about whom he adds in to his pack – despite the fact he is socially inept and can’t add many people anyway. The wolf pack becomes your closest friends, the people you surround yourself with the most. The ones who influence your life.
My first real exposure to a ‘wolf pack’ comes from my cousin. Growing up, he’s been like a big brother to me. As long as I can remember, he’s always had the same key group of close friends. They’re probably just about heading in to their second decade of friendship. The group has always grown, shrunk and been apart for long periods of time. But they’ve come back together, and the pillars of the group have always remained.
All these guys are successful in their own right – professional athletes, engineers, business owners, managers, teachers and actors. Their networks are extensive, and they’re always willing to help you if you need it. When I spoke to my cousin about this in a bar in Hamburg he said, ‘We’re all pretty successful, and we just seem to attract successful people’ – That may be slightly misquoted because we were a good few beers in by that time. But the point still stands.
But, do they attract successful people because they are successful – or are they successful because of the people they surround themselves with?
Who are you spending your time with?
A good way that a psychology lecturer once put it to me is, ‘You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with’. Your attitude, desires, fashion sense, word’s you say, mannerisms and work ethic – all these things can be influenced by the people around you. Don’t believe me? Look at your current group of friends, and the way they say things. If you find that one person starts saying ‘Awesome’ to describe something, within a good week you’ll be using it for everything. There will be something in there that you’ve either picked up, or influenced yourself.
Successful businessmen tend to surround themselves with others that are like them. Athletes spend most of their time around other athletes. People on Jeremy Kyle spend a lot of their time around other people with no teeth and welfare cheques. If you surround yourself with a certain type of people, then you get a certain outcome.
Let me hold it there though. I’m not saying if you surround yourself with Fortune 500 company owners, you’ll become one. These guys work hard, day and night to achieve these things. You are not entitled to anything because of your group of friends. What I am trying to get at is the people your mind-set would start to change and you’ll want those things. Your network would also be better suited to your goals.
Traveling in the way I am right now, I find myself forced in to other peoples company. Living, working and spending long car journeys with people you sort-of know. These guys all come from different backgrounds, with different views of the world. Some can be cynical and negative; others can be positive and life affirming. I find a lot of people with Limiting Beliefs (that’s a whole topic for another day) that resign them to certain paths. These are people I try to avoid or cut from my social circle. Not because they are bad people or I don’t like them – but because I don’t need that influence in to my life.
There is nothing wrong with your friends
Your friends are probably pretty good people. You’ll have people you want to go down to the pub with, and people you would want to be the best man (or bridesmaids) at your wedding. I don’t know any of them, so I can’t judge. And his or her influence will be perfect on someone’s life.
The ultimate question though is – Is this persons influence good on my life?
If you’re overall goal is make a big life change and say, lose 50lbs. But you have a friend who keeps twisting your arm and you end up going out for pizza and beers 3 nights a week because of their influence. Do you need that person in your life?
Of course there is always the question about willpower, but without that influence there life gets easier. It’s like trying to quit drinking in a brewery – the odds are stacked against you.
The people you surround yourself with is paramount to your overall success, in anything. Old friends will always be there, but you have to make sure that these people have a positive effect on your life. People who hold you back just stand in your way, even if you have been friends since you were 3 years old.
Cutting people out of your life if hard, but in the pursuit of an awesome life we only want to be surrounded by awesome people. Vampires, Critics and people who hold us back have no place in our lives.