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Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

It’s your friends. The people around you affect you far more than you believe.

The Longevity Project, which studied over 1000 people from youth to death had this to say:

In The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha talk about how the best way to improve particular qualities in yourself is to spend more time with people who are already like that.

In Charles Duhigg’s excellent book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business:

In fact, for most, friend selection may be the only method of sustainable change.

I’ve posted about how manipulating context is the most powerful method of change and who we spend time with — who influences us on a daily basis — may be the most powerful form of manipulating context.

Checklists require effort and people often fail at anything that requires sustained effort. The Longevity Project explains:

Peer pressure, more often than not, is a very good thing. Just pick the right peers and make sure the pressure is working for you, not against you.

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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