The 5 People Principle

Who You See the Most Is Who You’ll Be the Most

This is a quote from one of my mentors, Jim Rohn. Jim was a motivational speaker and sensational self-help guru up until the time of his unfortunate passing.

I restructured the quote to make it a more accurate quote that I could fully embrace, believe in and live by which is; You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, including yourself.

The people you spend the most time with influence your behaviors. Those people can elevate you or they can bring you down, it works both ways. The principle is a universal truth that can be your ally or your enemy.

The people you contribute the most time to will influence every aspect of your being at a subconscious level and even a cellular without you even realizing it’s happening. It’s effecting your language, the places where you spend time, the things you do, your hobbies, your habits, your spiritual nature, your level of consciousness and even your financial thermostat which determines how much money you will make. If you add up the income of the 5-working people you contribute the most of your time to, and divide it by five, that is going to be about where your income level will be for the remainder of your life or until you decide to take-action and make some changes.

Some of the people you spend the most time with may not have an income therefore when I say add up the income, that implies that you’re looking at the 5 working people that you spend the most time with. If they have no income than they can’t contribute to the formula. Just for clarification, when your considering your financial thermostat you want to look at the five working people you spend the most time with. When we talk about language, habits, actions and everything else outside of finances, we are talking about the five people you spend the most time with weather hey are working or not.

It’s critical that you do some reflective thinking and examine this principle closely. Ask yourself what you need to hang onto and what you would be better off letting go of. There could be a lot of potential inside of you that is not being released because it is all bottled up by the container you are currently living in. Your container is shaped by how you spend your time and who you share and entangle your time with. Let me illustrate this for you with a story about a farmer who took one of his pumpkins to the state fair and entered it into a contest for pumpkin growers.

Then I Broke the Glass and There It Was

The pumpkin was very unique, in that it was the exact size and shape of five-gallon jug, including the shape of the handle and mouth of the jug. As you can imagine, his entry turned out to be an award-winning pumpkin. He won a blue ribbon which means his pumpkin exceeded the standards set for his class, He also won a purple ribbon, meaning his exhibit was outstanding. One of the judges came by after the show and asked him how in the world he was able to grow a pumpkin that looked just like a five-gallon jug. The farmer said it was as easy as hanging out with my five best friends. It took very little effort. It wasn’t long after the seed was planted that it started to bloom. I put it inside of a five-gallon jug and watched it grow. After spending enough time inside the jug it grew to be the exact shape and size of the five-gallon jug. Then I broke the glass and there it was. A perfect copy of the jug.

This is what we do with our lives. The five-gallon jug is like the five people we spend the most time with, in many ways we become like them. We take on the size and shape of their character, their dreams, their income and many other characteristics. My friend Brian Walsh is an expert in personal growth and in one of his books titled BRAINWIDTH, he states that “Our social interactions carve out cognitive maps containing stereotypes, beliefs, fixed responses, attitudes and behavioral patterns. In terms of how your social plane effects your success, the richer the social network a person has the greater the person’s success.”

Another good friend of mine by the name of Joshua Schneider is the author of an excellent book called GENERATION NEXTLEVEL and in his book he uses the analogy that “a tiny drop of red dye will turn a whole gallon of water pink; you just cannot escape the subtle influences that wield over you.”

The environment you live in which is essentially the people, places and things you surround yourself with is the absolute most critical aspect of success. Your outside influences move subtly through your conscious awareness. They can subtly wire themselves into your subconscious mind and become rooted into your being at the cellular level as behavioral patterns without you even realizing that it’s happening.

Let’s Talk About Something Called a Polygraph Machine

The polygraph machine was invented by John Augustus Larson, in the year 1921. John was a medical student at the University of California at Berkeley. He was also a police officer of the Berkeley Police Department.

This guy wasn’t a scientist, he was a student who was there to learn from the masters, so why had this idea not been invented by the masters? Never underestimate the creative powers of another human being regardless of who they are or what their current station in life happens to be.

This is what happens when a Man or Women subjects themselves to a polygraph test. Sensors are attached to the body at four to six different locations. What we often hear people refer to as a lie detector test is what the inventor labeled polygraph machine. A polygraph machine measures and records several (poly) of your body’s physiological indicators. Some of the indicators are blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and skin conductivity. During the test, a series of questions are asked of the subject. In response to each of the questions, the corresponding physiological changes are recorded.


A group of neuro scientists conducted an experiment in which they took the polygraph machine and the volunteer test subject and put them both in the same room but rather than connecting the six sensors to the body as usual, here is what they did.

What Happened Next Transformed My Way of Thinking

They took a culture from the test subject’s mouth and placed it inside of a test tube and attached the test tube to the polygraph machine and positioned the machine and tube on the opposite side of the same room. That is right, it was not connected to the man! It was clear across the room, away from the man being tested.

As the man answered the questions being asked of him, his physiological changes were detected on the machine across the room. You heard me right, his THOUGHTS as well as the other physiological changes I mentioned earlier were being detected and recorded by a machine that was not even connected to his body.

The neuroscientist decided to take it a step further. If the machine records the physiological changes from across the room, what about across town, what about across the state or across the country?

They repeated the test with various subjects, moving the polygraph machine further and further away each time and with the machine connected only to a test tube containing the subjects white blood cells, stationed over one hundred miles away from the test subjects body the machine was able to pick up and record the physiological changes taking place in real time.

The Critical Importance of Your Environment

I hope by now you are starting to see how important your environment is. Embracing an understanding of the fact that thoughts travel is paramount because it leads to an easier grasp of the inner workings that make up the final piece of the 5-people principle. Prepare to be blown away.

Your brain and your mind are two different things. Your brain is what you see on an x-ray. Your mind is where your thoughts live, thoughts are invisible and so is your mind. Your brain can be seen, your mind cannot. Your brain is a switching station between the mind and the body and serves as the go between that allows your body to communicate with your mind. But how does your body communicate?

When you look in the mirror you only see one of you. But you are actually a community of more than fifty trillion people, that is how many cells you have in your body. I call them people because each cell is surrounded by a three layered structure called a membrane. You can think of the membrane as a Mem-Brain because each cell has its own tiny little brain meaning each cell is independently intelligent. Each cell in your body contains nearly all the aspects of the rest of your body, like a miniature copy of you! Therefore, each cell is in essence a microscopic human of sorts and that is why when you stand in front of a full length mirror you are actually looking at a community of over fifty trillion people. I tell you that so I can tell you this. Each cell has a layer of membrane (mem-brain) that is looking inward into itself as well as a layer of membrane (mem-brain) that is looking outward.

Here is where I recommend that when you have time you look up the word Epigenetics. It actually means, above the gene and in the world of epigenetics that means that your genes are not in charge as many people believe. Your genes are programmable. Now listen closely to what I’m about to say because this is the most important part of the five people principle. Remember I said that each of your cells has a membrane that is looking in and one that is looking out? The one that is looking out picks up signals from your environment and passes them on to the membrane that is looking into the cell. In other words, the two layers are communicating with each other and together they are delivering information into the cell. Now would you care to guess where your genes are located? Without getting to scientific let me just say that each cell contains genes and it’s the genes being exposed to the environmental signals that control their activity. They are being conditioned by the environment.

Therefore, when your friends are exposing you to their actions, their habits, and their beliefs, all of your cells are listening and they are adapting to their environment. This means that people rub-off on you, they affect you at every level of your being.

Another huge revelation that comes from this is that while we are born with genes that contain coding passed on to us from previous generations, the coding is not permanent, the code can be reprogrammed and you be certain that it is being reprogrammed as signals from your environment continue to be detected by your cells and that information is passed on to your genes.

While the human genome project’s attempt to decode our DNA was a colossal failure, there is one life changing discovery that came as a bi-product of the projects 300 years of computing time. I’ll sum it with a quote from Dr. Bruce Lipton; a phenomenal cell biologist and leading pioneer in the field of epigenetics. In his internationally acclaimed book The Biology of Belief” he says…

A large portion of our dark DNA consists of “gene switches.” Over four million gene switches in the noncoding DNA constitute an almost inconceivable intricate information wiring system, one that turns genes on and off and provides a mechanism to rewrite the DNA’s coded protein structure.

What that translates into is that going forward you can take with you the stark reality that you cannot blame your current condition is passed onto your kids can no longer be blamed on your parents or their parents. You can only blame it on yourself due to the fact that you are constantly programming your genes and You have the power to deliver a powerful new program for health, happiness and success to your children’s genes. Or you can contribute to their life of illness and misery. When the people places and things in your environment are rubbing off you, just remember that you are also rubbing off on the people who are currently in your life as well as your unborn children.

Your environment can work to your advantage and it can work against you depending on how you chose the people you hang around with. If you want to achieve a desired level of success, you must surround yourself with people who have obtained that level of success or greater. If you rub a magnet against a piece of iron long enough, eventually the piece of iron will become magnetized too.

The difference between where you are at today versus where you will be three years from now will be determined by the combined effect of what you expose yourself to as well as what you protect yourself from. One being just as important as the other. Your personal and professional associations in general, the people you spend the most time with, what you read, what you listen to and what you watch. This includes music and hobbies which also play a defining role.

I highly recommend that you set aside a block of time to reflect and look at the five people both working and non-working that you spend the most time with. What are their hobbies, their habits, the music they listen to, their vocabulary, what are their short- term and long-term goals, what are their dreams? Do they have any? Everything you do and everything you don’t do makes a difference.

A Whole New Level of Success is Just 3 Steps Away

Three steps to new possibilities

1. Write down what your desired income would be if nothing could hold you back. Write down what you would do to earn that money, if you had the glorious option of choosing anything in the world that you wanted. Write down your dreams and your goals, the town you would live, the house, what kind of car you would drive. Write a description of what your ideal life would be like.

2. Take an honest look at the people, places and things you surround yourself with. Write down the name of each person, place and thing, then make a list of the qualities they have that would serve your new vision and characteristics that would not serve your new vision.

3. Analyze what you have on paper and decide what people places and things serve your best interest. They influence you in one of two ways, they move you closer to you goals or they move you further away from your goals. Are they a help or a hindrance? They either support you in some way or they don’t. Now make the changes that you know in your heart, need to made if you ever want to life the life of your dreams.


Here is one of my mantras that is well worth adopting.

Everything Matters!

(Because it does)



Feel free to use this article, all I ask is that you include the following complete statement:

Daniel Gleed is a Success Coach to the International community. He is the founder of Success YOUniversity and the Author of Success Leaves Clues. He is a leading authority on Leadership strategies, reaching pinnacles of performance, and tactics for super success in business and in life. If you're ready to take success to a whole new level. Further enrich your life, make more money, and experience more fun on the outside as well as more joy on the inside. Go to


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