“The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the expectations of your peer group. Choose your peers wisely.”
I first heard of this quote in 2008 during a Tony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within” seminar in Toronto. If you haven’t already attended one of his events, you must definitely add that to your bucket list. It is like attending a rock concert, but for self-help & seminar junkies. You are guaranteed to learn lots of new life hacks, get motivated, meet like-minded individuals, and even walk on fire.
But this one quote stuck with me ever since. It is one of the best advice I ever received.
This is implying that your success & the quality of life is directly related to the quality of your Peer-group, in other words, the people whom you choose to hang around with.
Let’s say you hang around with average people, chances are that their expectations of themselves and for yourself won’t be that high. So your results in life and your work will be average as well.
Conversely, if your peer group holds high expectations for themselves you are bound to hold high expectations for yourself, as a result, the quality of your goals & life increases.
Take any professional sports team – the team is made up of A-players, they are all elite performers, they all hustle together and hence they are able to compete at that level. For instance, when the National Soccer Team of Spain won the world cup in 2010 – 7 out of the 15 players in the squad came from the Barcelona Soccer Team. They competed on a professional level and at that time were one of the best players in the sport. So, when they played together on the same team during the World Cup, you couldn’t argue their effectiveness. They were the best team in the tournament, a team made up of A-players.
Peer pressure has always had an impact on how one goes about in their lives. Ever heard of the expression “Keeping up with Joneses”. Peer groups can also have a negative impact i.e smoking, excessive spending, involvement in gangs, etc.
Therefore, it is important to choose a Peer Group or a group of associates who would aid you in your career success and goal achievement.
Professional Organizations, Masterminds, Guilds, Fraternities have been created using the same principle. The members of the groups have a similar goal or are in the same profession. They meet periodically to discuss their businesses, professions and to learn & exchange new ideas. Many businesses and individuals have thrived with the help of their respective groups.
The Advantages of a Peer Group are as follows.
You are more likely to quit or give up on your goals when you are going it alone. Having a strong support system in place ensures that you can use other resources/people for ideas & encouragement.
Organizations like Weight Watchers, Alcoholics Anonymous have been successful for decades because they work on the Peer-Group principle. The members of these groups attest to the importance of the occasional meetings with the other members of their groups.
2. Higher Standards
There is a good chance that you will find a group that motivates you to strive better (otherwise you have found a wrong group and it is time to look elsewhere).
When you see your peers obtain better results, you are likely to stretch to achieve the same or better.
Toastmasters International has clubs around the world, where members meet weekly or bi-weekly to work on their Public-speaking and communication skills (I encourage you to visit one club close to you to learn about their program). Every week you are encouraged to push yourself outside your comfort zone to learn new skills. And as you see your peers are progressing in the program you get the positive motivation to move in the right direction. You improve your skill-set and also your personality.
This has been extremely beneficial to me. I don’t consider myself the smartest person in the room (neither should you) and I am always looking for new ideas & new tools. It can become a daunting task to find the right methods and ideas. Members of your peer-group usually have the experience you seek, and they are able to guide you in making the right choices.
A few years ago, I enrolled in a running program at one of the Running Room clinics– I was totally clueless about what is involved in training for a race. My group at that time provided me with the support, encouragement, and also ideas on what shoes to buy, what to eat, how to train, and also the necessary kick-in-the-butt. With their help and the accountability they provided, I was able to run my first 2 marathons.
In summary, a Peer Group (the right one) is always necessary for improving your Career. Finding the Right peer group is paramount. Once you find the right group, use them for accountability, support, and resources to propel yourself to success in your career.
“Your choice of people to associate with, both personally and business-wise, is one of the most important choices you make. If you associate with turkeys, you will never fly with the eagles.” – Brian Tracy