Accountability: How We Can Foster True Friendships While Cultivating An Ideal Social Circle For Success

You may have heard the saying “you are who you hang with” before. If you haven’t, all this saying dictates is that, over time, you adopt your friends' mannerisms, habits, and their speech patterns and intonations. Simply put: the more time you spend around people, the more similar your actions become. 


It is crucial that we keep this in mind when choosing those who form our social circle because our decision on who we include can either hold back, or accelerate our development and progression towards goals. We are the deciders of whether or not we’re surrounded by those who elevate us. The value in this cannot be understated. 


When we surround ourselves with ambitious, dedicated, punctual visionaries, we too become elevated. Not only do we subconsciously absorb the energy of the insatiable desire for success of the people around us; we can also feel greater security and meaning knowing that we are not alone in our pursuit of greatness and mastery, which heightens our drive. This energy gives us a sense of momentum making the execution of our habits, work, and grind come with greater ease, delivering us with a sense of companionship along our journey.


A key personality trait that comes into play here is accountability


In order to cultivate an optimal environment for success and progression, it is imperative that we surround ourselves with people who will hold themselves and those around them accountable. 


A commonly known example that displays the power of accountability is having a ‘gym buddy.’ People can often struggle to maintain discipline when attempting to start or keep up an exercise routine however, oftentimes just the simple addition of a gym buddy to your gym routine can help in myriad of ways. Just having a partner who aids you in attacking this challenge can help you with showing up (and showing up on time as well), not going through the motions, pushing ourselves to new levels, using proper form, and expanding our workout because we now have a spotter. All of these small changes and improvements do not add together, they multiply, and now we see a much improved set of conditions enabling us to work out with much greater effectiveness. 


This concept transcends the gym space and can be implemented into any facet of life. What we are striving to do is surround ourselves with people who are not afraid to tell the truth, regardless of whether or not it is what either of you will want to hear. People who won’t hesitate to tell us when we aren’t performing at our best or our efforts are lacking. People who are there for us when we present them with bad news and also help us to celebrate our wins. People who are there to support us but also there for us to aid along their journey, appreciating our contributions to their mission.


Why? Why do true friends embody characteristics that many superficial acquaintances won’t because it makes them feel uncomfortable? Why do they do these things that seem onerous, just to keep the relationship afloat, or better yet, continually deepen the bond between both parties?


They truly want the best for us.


We must surround ourselves with people who embody these qualities. This is the key to harnessing valuable friendships: there must be a mutual interest in the most expeditious improvement for all parties in the relationship. This gives us greater security in knowing a trustworthy person can be reached with just a call, text, or drive, one who values and takes pride in our success. One who wants us to succeed because it makes them feel joyous and prosperous, whilst deepening their drive to be like the friend they admire, enhancing their relentless pursuit of greatness. 


Let’s return to the sentence “People who are there to support us but also there for us to aid along their journey, appreciating our contributions to their mission” as this may not have rung a bell, but is of great importance nonetheless. Why might we want to surround ourselves with people who help us but also provide an opportunity to make use of a source of guidance that we must provide?


This is due to the transferential nature of relationships. When we truly deconstruct the driving force behind relationships, we see that there is an exchange of value that (hopefully) is contributed by each party (I say hopefully because a lack of value exchange can often lead to unhealthy relationships). When a relationship thrives, each person can offer a variety of things whether it be knowledge and wisdom, ideas and insights, love and companionship, an open ear, an adept problem solver, you name it, there are an infinite number of possibilities. We enter relationships due to the positivity we feel from providing and receiving value to and from others, respectively. This is one of the main reasons we need social interaction.


With what you’ve just read, let's make time and space for introspection, the value of which cannot be understated. Think deeply and honestly about the following questions: How can I surround myself with people who truly want the best for me? What social bandwidth is ideal for me when considering the size of my social circle, the number of interactions I have daily, and the nature of said interactions. Which of my friends want the absolute best for me? And most importantly: will I be willing to reduce the size of my social circle in my relentless pursuit of greatness?


Greatness and mastery will never be easy and will always oblige sacrifice. However, if we cultivate an optimal social circle for success, we form true, trustworthy friendships, where both parties are there for the other, all this providing us support and guidance along what may seem like a tantalizing journey. 


Rowan Paoletti-Newton

MTD Blog Writer

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