Some sociologists say that we are the average of the five closest people to us…

Therefore, it is vitally important that you choose your friends wisely. Make sure you surround yourself with people who can help you build a bridge to your destiny. This means they need to have similar mission, similar vision, and positivity when it comes to your personhood, and courage to say the hard things to push you even when you don’t want to hear it.

True friends will be in your corner with the keen ability to cry with you and remind you that you have to get up, all at the same time. True friends are skilled at blocking the shade that tries to dim your light; and in many instances will act like a sniper on your behalf to take out the shade tree with sharp accuracy. If you ever forget who you are, you should be able to look at your friends for signs and reminders of your greatness and purpose.

In his article entitled “You’re NOT the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with,” David Burkus offers another perspective regarding the influence of our social networks. He says that we aren’t just influenced by our circle of five friends, but that we are also influenced by their networks (even if we don’t know those people). Citing research conducted by Nicholas Christakas and James Fowler, Burkus points to some interesting statistics regarding obesity, smoking rates, and even happiness, as it relates to social networks. The bottom line is this: be strategic about your circle of friends, and be mindful of their circle of friends. A drop of water creates a ripple that expands outward; but social networks seem to create a powerful inverse effect.

Strategically build your #entourage, and be prepared to reciprocate healthy, positive friendship.