The Best For You

“Make friends with people who want the best for you.”

~ Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules For Life

Simple concept.

Also brings to mind that popular saying “you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

This has been on my mind a bit lately. I have had the tremendous good fortune to often be surrounded by good people. As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, I had (and continue to have) a great, tight knit group of friends who were smart, adventurous, funny, hard workers, and above all else — friendly. I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like anymore. But whenever we do get together, it’s as if no time has passed whatsoever.

In college, I lived on campus and by what I can only assume to have been the result of some kind of clerical error — I was assigned a room in the “Honors” dorm. This was supposed to be the “quiet” dorm for the more serious students. My immediate neighbors were definitely head-and-shoulders above me on the IQ scale and strength-of-class-schedule scale, so that part of it was true. But “quiet”? That’s debatable. Didn’t feel too quiet to me (of course, I’m very much to blame for that. LOL). Anyway, irregardless of any perceived or actual academic differences, the bonds I formed with many of the boys and girls in that dorm persist to this day. And every one of them is successful in his or her own way. They were bound to be. With hindsight, it’s incredibly obvious they were all on paths to success.

The same can be said for many of the friends I made in the coed business fraternity I later joined when I entered the business school my Junior year. Most of us joined less so because of the “networking” and “resume building” aspects, and more so because it looked like those students were having the most fun with the most friends. I was certainly of the latter motivation. But regardless of our individual motivations, we all shared a unique vibration which had designs on achieving bigger and better things for ourselves. Many of us did not have any clue which path that might lead each of us down, but we were all driven and only in need of a spark to fire us off down whichever direction was called.

And since then, I’ve continually sought out people and groups who share my interests and keep me motivated. It’s why I joined my first Prop Trading group in Tampa, Florida in 1998 after college. They all seemed so uniquely driven to “extract money from Wall Street.” It’s why I was later drawn to StockTwits. The idea of bringing people together to share ideas and experiences that we could all benefit from. It’s why I started a Traders meetup group in Colorado with hundreds of members — because I want to surround myself with people who are motivated to achieve success. And it’s why I currently do the work I currently do, because I am constantly re-energized by people (both co-workers and customers) who are looking ahead and aiming their sites on getting to the “next level” — whatever that level means to them.

Take a look around. Are the people around you supporting and pushing you to the next level? If not, why not?

I know when I take time to ask myself that question, the answer sometimes surprises myself. Sometimes the answer is no and then I have to make a choice about how much more time or effort I want to put in towards maintaining that relationship. Other times, the answer is completely unexpected: The problem is me. I’m the one who is not investing enough or putting enough effort forth. Or worse, I’m dragging them down!

This even relates in trading in profound ways: what things am I repeatedly doing which lose money? Sounds like a stupid question, but Traders know this to be a regular issue. What’s it going to take for me to stop doing that thing that is repeatedly costing me money? Until I can remove those things from my routine and focus more energies on the things that are making me money, I’m just going to continue spinning my wheels.

What is true in trading is true in friendships. Do more of what’s working, less of what’s not.