High-Performance life, business, and relationship coach Brendan Burns often quotes the entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker Jim Rohn, who once said that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Brendan Burns initially heard this quote from Tim Ferriss, another author, and speaker who has impacted Burns’ life deeply. Ever since reading Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week during his time as a student at Cornell Law School, Burns has avidly followed Ferriss’ work. This inspired Burns to quit his 100+ hour per week jobs as a Corporate Lawyer and then Investment Banker on Wall Street job to pursue a career as a high-performance Business and Life Coach. Burns shares that when he first heard this quote about who we surround ourselves with, it immediately resonated with him.
“Who you surround yourself with is one of the most important decisions you will ever make,” Burns says. While it sounds easier said than done, it requires very serious contemplation about which of your friends, coworkers, or even family members you need to perhaps spend less time with. Surrounding yourself with successful, positive people who see the value in your personal and professional growth is one of the best decisions you will ever make. Not only can it dramatically alter your levels of success, but it can impact your happiness, inner peace, and feelings of fulfillment.
Upon first hearing the quote, Burns spent much time in reflection, facing the reality that since he had been raised in an abusive environment, he had unconsciously surrounded himself with similarly destructive people: at work, in relationships with women, and with friends.
At the same time, Burns also began to recognize the people who were treating him well, those who accepted him unconditionally, and he began spending more time with them. Burns describes that when he first started this process, he was invited over to watch some football with a friend of his from college. During the afternoon, Burns’ friend was asking him numerous questions about himself. How was Burns doing? How was his work going? And then his friend started offering Burns powerful and supportive advice. Burns took out his iPhone when his friend wasn’t looking, and recalls typing out a note to himself: “Hang out with Jim more often!”
When it comes to creating the life that you want, carefully selecting the people you spend time with is crucial. As Burns made the decision that he wanted to craft a new, more meaningful life, he began to surround himself with people who were already where he wanted to be. He cites another quote that impacted him on his journey to success. Reid Hoffman, the Founder of LinkedIn once said, “the fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.” Burns adds, “Their success is contagious, and you will start to notice the impact it will have on you.” Although change may not take place overnight, spending time with the people you want to be like is the number one thing you can do to get from where you are to where you want to be. Whether it is success, happiness, adventure, or anything else that you desire, the key to achieving your goal often can be traced back to the people you spend the most time with.
Today, Burns helps people from around the world maximize their lives. He shares all of his best business and self-development tools, to help people achieve high levels of success, fulfillment, and most importantly, happiness. He currently works with high performers, professional athletes, business executives, and others interested in personal or professional development. Brendan has garnered a huge fan following on Instagram, where he has more than 100,000 followers. He currently resides in the New York City, where he hosts the iTunes Show “The Brendan Burns Show,” which is also featured on Spotify.