Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

How Your Friends Impact Your Life

What would you say if I told you that your friends, your friend’s friends and your friend’s friend’s friends could impact how healthy you are?  What about how successful you are?  What about how happy you are?

Sounds ridiculous right?  How could your friend’s friend’s friends negatively impact your life?  Someone you don’t even know could right now be negatively impacting how successful or healthy or happy you are?  Yeah, that does sound foolish.

Well, it may not be so ridiculous after all.  Dr. Nicholas Christakis has been studying health and social networks for years.  Through his research he has discovered that if your friends are, for instance, overweight you are 45% more likely to be overweight.  And if your friend’s friends are overweight you are 25% more likely to be overweight.  And lastly, if your friend’s friend’s friends are overweight you are still 10% more likely to be overweight.  It is not until you are four degrees separated in your social network that the people in your social network no longer have a direct effect on you.  That is a pretty profound piece of information.  One that you should consider not just in passing.

What you should be doing is evaluating your social network.  How does it look?  How many of your friends are healthy, successful and happy?  How about your friend’s friends?  How about your friend’s friend’s friends?  I’ve talked about it before in previous posts about how the 5 people you spend the most time with will have the largest impact on your life.  That probably still holds true but now you have to look a little further when choosing what social networks to belong to.  Or, more importantly, who you let into your social network.

Recognize that not only do these people have this effect on you but you also have this effect on them.  This does not mean that you can blame any misfortune you have on your friends or others in your social network.  What this does mean is that you have a responsibility to yourself and to those in your social network to be the best you can be, so not only do you have a better life but those who are closest to you also reap those benefits.  Ultimately, you will all prosper together.

Dr. Christakis brings up an interesting difference between American and European ways of thinking.  When this study first came out headlines in American papers read something to the effect of, “Are you packing it on?  Blame your fat friends!” whereas the headlines in Europe read, “Are your friends gaining weight?  Perhaps you are to blame!”

Pretty interesting difference in thought process.  I think its really a two way street and both statements have valid arguments.  But do you really want to be one of those people who blames their misfortunes on others?  If you do, stop it.  Don’t adopt the American thought process.  Adopt the European thought process.  Be responsible.  Make sure you are doing your best.  But don’t feel bad that you also expect the best from your friends.  Don’t be afraid to take steps to cut away the fat from your social network.  After all, it could make the difference in your level of success, health and happiness.

If you’re interested in watching the full video it is below and will take an investment of 18 minutes of your time.

Happy Thanksgiving!



The Movember Of My Years

For those of you who don’t have the pleasure of seeing me in person I have been growing facial hair for the past two and a half weeks in honor of Movember.  For those of you who don’t know what Movember is, it’s the campaign focused on raising awareness and funds for the number one cancer affecting men – prostate cancer.  One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.  In 2010 alone, more than 32,000 men will die as a direct result of prostate cancer.

Since its inception Movember has raised over $42 million.  If you, or anyone you know, would like to donate to this cause you can follow this link to my Movember page and donate there by clicking on the “Donate To Me” button above my picture.

Thanks in advance for those who choose to donate.  And I won’t leave you empty handed this week as far as inspiration goes.  So without further ado, I will leave you with these inspiring words from Michael Jordan via Howard White and Driven From Within

I remember being at the gym with Michael, and there was this business man, very successful.  He wanted to get back in shape, and he’s laying on the board doing some inverted sit-ups.  The guy starts talking about how he’s getting cramps, and he stops.  Michael tells him he has to find a way to get past the pain if he really wants to get back into shape.  The guy walks around a little while, comes back, and finally does another set.

Then, Michael said, “The mind will play tricks on you.  The mind will tell you that you can’t go any further.  The mind will tell you how much it hurts.  The mind will tell you these things to keep you from reaching your goal.  But you have to see past that, turn it all off, if you are going to get where you want to be.”

That’s great advice from a great man.  Don’t let your mind play tricks on you.  You have the power to conquer anything you focus your mind on.  Use that to push yourself to new heights.

Miércoles Feliz!


How To Change Your Life!

If you had to choose only one book you could read for the rest of your life that book should probably be How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  Honestly, understanding and applying the principles in this book could single-handedly change your life and make you more successful.  The following is one of my favorite quotes from said book:

The biggest lesson I have learned is the stupendous importance of what we think. If I knew what you think, I would know what you are, for your thoughts make you what you are; by changing our thoughts, we can change our lives.  -Dale Carnegie

You probably have heard a million times that if you focus on the positive side of things or change your mindset you will be happier, more successful, have better relationships, etc., etc.  How you think not only applies to you and how you handle life’s curveballs, but it also has to do with how you talk to, handle and subsequently improve, or make worse, the people around you’s days and lives.  How you affect others and how others perceive you will have a lot to do with how you think.  My suggestion is to take a step back and think about how you think.  Without looking somewhere for help, what is one thing that you can change or do differently to improve the way you think?

When you come up with this one thing write it down.  Then put it in a place you can easily see and look at it every morning.  Your goal will be to do something every day that is in line with whatever it is that you write down.

Once you’ve mastered this take the next step and go pick up a copy of How To Win Friends & Influence People and start reading it.  I can guarantee that it will change the way you think – for the better.

Gelukkig Woensdag!


212th Degree … The Difference Maker

You ever work at something and work at something and work at something to only feel like you’re not getting anywhere?  You keep thinking to yourself, “why am I still doing this?”  “I’m not making any progress so why don’t I just give up?”

You never know just how close you are to reaching a goal.  And that’s the irony of it sometimes.  It may feel as though you’re not making any progress, when in reality you’re just one step away from achieving what you’re working towards.  It’s that final step.  The one that will make all the difference.  The last push before you actually reach what your striving for – that’s your 212th degree.  It’s the difference between having what you want and not.  It’s what separates you from living the life that you envision for yourself or not.  It’s you doing something that you’ve never done in order to get something that you’ve never had.  It’s you creating the steam that will power the locomotive of life to success – your success.

See for yourself the difference that last degree can make…

Do you want to power your locomotive of life to success or not?

You decide.

The difference is only one degree of effort.

Happy Wednesday!


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