Learning what to focus on and how to achieve your goals is key to your personal and professional development. I believe in “The Theory of Five,” which has supported my focus on health, happiness, prosperity and continuous improvement since I was 22 years old — because it shapes how I think and who I chose to spend time with.
This theory can be used by anyone and is based on choosing five mentors to guide you towards fulfilling all that you are capable of becoming. The mentoring process enhances your personal growth through observation, teaching, listening and internalizing so that you hold yourself accountable for your own successes and failures.
There are two circles to “The Theory of Five” — five personal and five inspirational connections.
The “Five Personal” circle is the group containing the five people you spend the most time with because of work, living arrangements or your personal comfort zone. For example, many personal circles include a marriage partner, children, a boss, co-workers, relatives or friends you have had since childhood. In most cases, your income, happiness, relationships, health, political views and prosperity will be the average of these five people. To avoid limiting this average, you must implement the second circle of “The Theory of Five.”
The “Five Inspirational” circle consists of five handpicked mentors who are related to specific areas of life you want to excel in. These five mentors are people you decide to surround yourself with because of their accomplishments. I believe the difference between having an average life or a great life is the people you surround yourself with and the mentors you choose. What many do not realize is that people who have achieved success and have years of wisdom and experience generally enjoy mentoring — you just have to ask.
There are five inspirational areas for mentors in life I find particularly important to focus on:
- Business and finance — Finding a mentor who is strong in business and finance is important whether you are a waiter, construction worker, professional athlete or running your own company. When approaching a candidate to be your business mentor, tell them how much you admire their accomplishments and ask to learn from their success. Ask them if you can call them and gain insights in the niche area where they are successful and request to be taken under their wing for advice.
- Marriage — Most of us will marry or commit to a partner someday. Being an exceptional husband or wife is not easy or natural for most people (the reason behind the 50 percent divorce rate in the United States). To be that exceptional spouse, find a couple you’d like to emulate, share why you admire them and let them know you trust and value their opinion. Tell them why you believe they would be an excellent source to receive counsel from. Not only will this improve your overall success, it will help any marriage partners to communicate better.
- Parenting — Statistically, the majority of people will be parents someday; even for those with no children, taking time to help children makes us better adults. Being a good parent requires a different set of attributes and skills than being a good businessperson or spouse. Also, the 50 percent divorce rate means that step parenting is a reality in many families, bringing its own challenges for both parents and children. To help you deal with the challenges of parenthood, locate a parent you admire. Use the similar approach as above of telling them why you admire his or her accomplishment and why you would like to learn and receive counsel from them as a parent.
- Spiritual or religious — I believe it is important to have a mentor who walks with a spiritual or religious viewpoint. Ask them to mentor you and provide counsel from their point of view, which can often differ from those with a completely secular worldview.
- Fitness and health — Find a mentor to aid you with health and fitness. Being in good physical health will help you through life, whether you are in your 20s or 80s. You could have all the business success and money in the world, but all that is worthless without health.
One of the great joys in life is that you do not have to do it alone. I have found that most successful people do not attribute their successes and achievements to their own efforts. Instead, these high achievers will eagerly share that they were fortunate enough to be guided, coached and mentored to their successes. They chose to model specific behaviors to support their successes, both personally and professionally.
Whether it is in business or in a relationship, sharing, talking, listening and getting advice will aid you to handle every challenge. It is so much tougher if you choose to go at it alone and depend on your own knowledge without the advice and counsel of others.
Think about this: As parents, we are always concerned with who our children hang out with because of the influence they exert. A child who spends time with other children who are polite, well mannered, hardworking and focused on being the best in their studies, athletics or other endeavors will influence your child to be the same. Even though we are adults, the people we choose to surround ourselves with will still influence us in a positive or negative manner. Choose your five mentors wisely with “The Theory of Five.” Surround yourself with high achievers and become one of them. Success will follow.