Peechaya Burroughs for TIME
March 11, 2016 8:00 AM EST

Have you ever wondered why your life doesn’t look like what you dreamed it would when you were 3 years old? Sure, maybe you’ve made some money, and accomplished a couple of things in life, but are you truly everything you wanted to be? I mean, truly? Why You Should Pursue Your Dream Even If Nobody Encourages You

When people hear your name, what’s the first thing they think of? Is that what you want to be known for?

I believe that every person on the planet is born with intrinsic value. I believe you were put on this earth for a higher purpose than to simply spend your time aimlessly building a business, partying or rusting in a nine-to-five job you despise. So, regardless of where you are in life, I have a question: What’s the ultimate goal behind what you do every day?

What’s your mission, your calling, your purpose? Are you achieving it? Probably not. So, consider this one simple piece of advice that could change everything and help you live the life you’ve always desired.

The simple truth about getting whatever you want in life

Here it is: Build relationships with people you see living out what you want to see in your own life. Though this advice is simple, it’s powerful enough to transform everything for you, I promise.

Most of us have heard the saying, “You are the average of the five people you associate with the most,” and today it rings truer than ever. So, whom do you spend the majority of your time with? Because, in essence, that’s who you are — or at least, that’s who you are becoming.

Here’s an example: Say you aspire to become CEO of an incredible startup that makes a huge impact on the world. The problem is, you don’t know how to get started. You have an amazing business idea, but every time you share it with the people you care most about, they shoot it down, because it’s “unrealistic.”

Instead, they crack a joke, then invite you to come hang out with them while they watch the latest sports game or TV series while drinking a beer.

So, if you’re passionate about your idea, where do you go? Nobody around you believes in your dream. How, then, do you hold true to it and actually see it come to pass?

The answer is, upgrade your friends. Gather around you people who believe in you and can help you accomplish your idea. The Recipe to Transform Your Dreams Into Reality

For example, in my life, I met Kyle Besaw early in my real estate business. He was a landlord with several dozen properties, and I latched on like a leech at the lake. Slowly, I began to talk the way he talked, to analyze real estate deals the way he analyzed them; soon, I began buying properties, just like him.

If it’s true that you are the average of the five people you associate with the most, who is the “Kyle” in your life who is bring up your average? If those in your circle of influence are not on the same page as you, unfortunately, all they’ll end up doing is bringing you down.

On the other hand, if you intentionally seek out friendships with people who are already successful doing something that’s similar to your passion, all they’ll do is bring you up.

Watch some of the world’s most powerful women share their best advice for life and success:

Finding above-average friends

So, how do you find these “upgraded” friends?

There is a lot of hype around the best and most strategic ways to network with high-profile people, but I have found most of them to be pretty unauthentic. Here, instead, are some means that have worked in my life and the lives of my friends.

1. Go where they go.

Be creative in discovering where high-profile people hang out; then go to those events, and simply be yourself. Check sites like for local get-togethers in your area. When you find a good Meetup, don’t overthink it! You’re only there looking to make friends, so don’t be weird. A lot of people go to networking events and in the name of “adding value,” end up being annoying and fake.

Be real! Not everyone is going to like you, but the relationships that are meant to be will present themselves in time. Just be yourself and have fun.

2. Get active in online communities.

A great way to surround yourself with like-minded people is to join an online forum or mastermind group that has a really active community.

For example, very early in my real estate investing career, I found The BiggerPockets Forums (today I’m VP at, where real-life investors were talking about the day-to-day struggles of building wealth through real estate. It was so authentic, such a breath of fresh air from all the “get rich quick gurus” on late night TV that it changed my life and continues to change the lives of thousands of people daily.

So, head over to Google and find one of these communities in your niche! The key is to get involved. The more you genuinely help people, the more friendships naturally occur.

3. Start your own ‘thing.’

If you’re strapped for cash and time, another great way to upgrade your friend circle is to be the facilitator of what you’re looking for. Spearheading a mastermind group, a meetup or an online community (Facebook groups are awesome!) will do a lot to help you surround yourself with like-minded influencers.

Naturally, because you started the “thing,” members will look to you as a leader, and it will be a no-brainer for friendships to happen.

The fork in your road

The key to all this is action. If you’re in a situation where you are not satisfied with your life and you want it to change for the better, then you’re at a crossroads: By taking the path on the left, you can continue to do what you’ve been doing, and nothing will change. You’ll continue to generate great ideas, but nothing will come of them.

On the right is a path less traveled, which presents a lot more unknowns. You’ll meet incredible people and have incredible adventures, but it will take far more work and guts. Why Every Company Needs a Dream Manager

You’ll have to push and make the effort, but in the end, the path on the right will be far worth it.

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