We hear this from motivators: “You are the average of the 5 people that you surround yourself with.”

Cue the racing mental inventory of your friendships: are your homies “successful” enough? Is their mojo rubbing off on you? Are you going to let go of friends who haven’t gotten rich yet? Or sober? Who aren’t fuckin’ crushin’ it?

There’s a shadow to the “5 people rule”. It can make us transactional… strands of usery can find their way into the connection, tinges of envious cloying. And in that dynamic, real love will struggle to grow.

Yes, be intentional, fill your life with people who are deeply well. But also consider being the opposite of calculating—which is being organic, which grows the magic.

Consider loving your people where they’re at. Because at some point in life each of us will be struggling or soaring with conventional definitions of success. We’ll be face-planted in pain, in between confused and resolute, or the best in class.

Be fully you, loving the people in your life for being fully themselves. And if you can emulate their A+ ways or they can hook you up, then that’s just a bonus on top of true love and integrity… which is the kind of success that really matters.