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The Art of Selfishness

Posted on April 6th, by Mike Sherbakov in Life and Wellness. 2 comments


What kind of people do you surround yourself with?  Who do you spend the majority of your time with and what kind of activities do you enjoy with these people? Take a moment to observe the most influential people in your life. Do they make you stronger?  Do they push you to become a better version of yourself on a daily basis?

You are the average of the five people you associate with most.

It’s just the way it works.  If you want to be a good tennis player, you generally surround yourself with tennis players.  If you enjoy live theatre or surfing, you instinctively gravitate toward the individuals who possess similar interests.  Love partying and staying up all night?  I’d be willing to bet your closest friends do the same thing.

Knowing you are like a sponge, naturally absorbing and meshing the qualities of your five closest associates to form your individual character, make a conscious decision to surround yourself with people who inspire you.  If you notice people are bringing you down, hurting you or simply draining your energy (energy vampires), there comes a time where it is necessary to be selfish. 

“It is often the case that you have to fire certain friends or retire from a particular social circle to have the life you want.  This isn’t being mean; it’s practical.  Poisonous people do not deserve your time. To think otherwise is masochistic.”

A book I always recommend to friends, The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss discusses what I refer to as the art of selfishness.  Along with the quotes used in this blog, Tim goes into further detail regarding the importance of your immediate social circle. 

“Do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends.   If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”

This is absolutely not encouraging an individual to be judgmental or condescending, but rather respecting that everyone walks his or her own path.  If someone shares a similar path to yours, invite them along to share the beauty of cooperation and like-mindedness.  If someone does not share a similar path, love and respect the path they lead and understand that although not today, someday their path may line up with yours. 

We often spend too much time with those who poison us with pessimism, sloth and low expectations. Are you trying to quit smoking cigarettes?  Attempting to cut back the drinking? Stop spending time with people who partake in the unwanted activities and surround yourself with what serves you. Spend time with people who challenge you to be a better human being.  Spend time with people you admire and watch the transformation as you grow in incredible ways and inspire others around you to do the same. 


-Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow-


Mike Sherbakov, CSCS, CPT, RYT

2 responses to “The Art of Selfishness”

  1. mahjoe says:

    Well put, I had a similar epitomy today!

  2. cassandra says:

    I love this so much. This is definitely something I am striving to work on in my life right now. Not easy but so worth it.

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