Gravity

Imagine the bleak emptiness of outer space. There’s literally nothing for gigantic distances.

I think this is what nihilism is like. If you feel your life has no meaning or purpose, then you’re empty & dead inside. Virtually no life can survive in outer space.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.


When two stars orbit around each other, it’s known as a binary star system. Due to the powerful effects of gravity, each star pulls off huge chunks of matter from each other.

Over time, each star becomes more like the other. It becomes harder to say the stars are truly distinct… each star is increasingly composed of portions of the other.

I think people are like this too.

“You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

– James Altucher

I agree with the sentiment of this quote from James, but the pedant inside me feels he hasn’t formulated it very accurately. However, this quote certainly has an emotional punch – it makes you think carefully about who you’re choosing to spend time with.

I’d prefer to say it this way:

“You become more like the people you spend the most time with – and they become more like you too. So make sure you spend time with people whose qualities you admire.”

Bollinger, R. (2019)

I’ve seen this happen to beautiful effect in my own life. I respect and admire my wife more than any other human being I’ve ever met. I feel incredibly lucky to have her in my life.

We’ve known each other almost 20 years. After such a long time together, we’re bound to have rubbed off on each other, just like binary stars.

I’d like to think that I’ve adopted some of her better qualities, such as learning to be more calm and considered. And I’d also hope that I’ve rubbed off on her in positive ways too.


Who do you admire? What precisely is it that you admire about them? What are you learning from them?

Are you spending time with people who you feel are helping you become the best version of you? Or do you hang around with people who are bringing you down?

It’s your choice.


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