You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. That statement may have hit you as hard to believe; however, if you think about, it probably holds a lot of truth. Now it may not be necessarily all bad if everyone in the group pulls his or her own weight.

But if you got a couple of them who rarely, if ever, bring something to the table, how does that become beneficial to the group, or to you? God help you if all five of your friends always depend on you.

It is not my intent to say that friends who don’t have as much as you or are as well off as you are bad. Money and status should never be the criteria for establishing and maintaining relationships. I present this in the context of surrounding yourself with friends who share the same enthusiasm you have in making yourself the best person you can be. Furthermore, I encourage that you don’t create friendships based on what they can do for you, but for what you can learn from them.

Take a simple assessment with the people you hang out with most. Are there things that you do that are similar to what most or all of them do as well? Do you do things for yourself or for your family based on what the group would deem acceptable or will not cause friction with the group? Are you afraid to seek advice or talk to the group about your ideas on being a better person? Do you have any faith and confidence in the sincerity or ability of the group to provide you encouragement, advice, and acceptance of your desire to be better? If the answer to the first question was “Yes” and to the remaining questions “No,” then you might want to consider who your friends are.

There’s a lot of conversation today on how to deal with drug addiction on our island, and it’s interesting how it relates to this discussion. One of the initial activities to address and overcome drug addiction is to remove oneself from the environment and people that trigger and enable continued drug use. Similarly, if you want to improve your life and the group you most associate with doesn’t share the same aspiration, find new friends.

So, if you’re serious about wanting to change your life for the better, get rid of the excess weight and surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed and who can provide you advice and support in your new life journey. Where do you want to go?

All the best.

Frank Blas Jr. is a former senator, adjunct professor, and president of Frank Blas and Associates. For more information, visit or email

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