Show me your friends and ill show you your future. -Albanian Proverb
The people you keep in your circle, the tribes you belong to, will impact your future more than any action you personally take. Don't believe me?
In the book, Atomic Habits, James Clear points to a study of the heroin-addicted U.S. soldiers returning from Vietnam. After they came back to the U.S., 9 out of 10 soldiers that had used heroin stopped. Over 90% stopped what was believed to be a permanent and irreversible condition.
James contrasts that with normal people who go to rehab but don't change their tribe or environment, of which over 90% get re-addicted.
"The idea that a little bit of discipline would solve all our problems is deeply embedded in our culture. Recent research, however, shows something different." James Clear, Atomic Habits
Discipline is good, but it's not enough; you need the right tribes. It's why the proverb says, show me your friends, and ill show you your future.
I'll prove the proverb to you from my own story too. I joined a startup that had hired some of the smartest people I have ever met. That experience changed my entire career trajectory. Within a few short years, I moved from a mid-level individual contributor to running multiple engineering teams. My teams today have some of the highest engagement scores in the very large company that acquired us. My teams are the most diverse group of people I have worked with. All because of what I learned from that early circle of great people.
That experience changed how I view the tribes I am a part of and who is in my circle.
I guarantee you that if you show me your friends, I will show you who you will be in a few short years.
Get my weekly email, The Postcard, with the best ideas from each week.