The Law of Inner Circle: How Your Social Environment Shapes Who You Are

Have you ever thought that anyone around you actually shapes who you are, what you thought, and what you do?

Well, here’s some example:

1. The friends that always ask you to play.

You are a highly motivated student. Since you are graduated from your high school you have a big dream about your future. You wanted to be a researcher on Microbiology.

When you enter college, in the first day you discovered that people around you are not as enthusiast as you are with their dreams. Your friends just take things slow and let it be.

At first, you thought that it doesn’t matter. As long as you keep on track with yourself, you can still achieve your dreams and play with everyone.

But the reality is not that beautiful, though.

You started to miss your target, you play more than you learned. Most of the time, your friends always ask you to go with them to the mall, clubbing, etc.

Although you wanted to refuse, you can’t. They will say that you are a nerd. Or they will tell you that you cannot be their friends anymore.

Your grades are falling èapart. You think that maybe being a researcher is impossible for you. So, you have to let go your dreams.

Do you have friends like that? No? How lucky you are!

Actually, that’s kind of an extreme example. How about this one:

2. The friend that always ask you to study.

Since you are in middle school, you are passionate about writing a novel. You even have your first novel published when you are in high school.

Then, it’s time for you to go to college. Your score is excellent. It’s nearly perfect. Your parent thinks that you should take the best major in the best university. Because you are nice, you agree with them.

Let’s say, you go to Chemical Engineering, the highest passing grade major in the best technological institution in your country. As you predicted, it’s quite easy for you to get there.

In your deepest heart, you wanted to develop your writing skill again in college. You plan that you will write your second book draft in the first semester.

But the hard truth is, things doesn’t get as perfect as you wanted it to be.

The environment there is so ambitious. All of your friend study all the time. It’s kinda weird for them to see you writing a book instead of studying for the course.

Well, you think the course is hard too, but somehow you can manage it. What you cannot handle is the pressure that comes from your friends. Your environment forces you to study all the time.

In the end, you think that you should let go of your dreams to be a novel writer.

Now, the story is quite ironic, right? Both of them have to give up on their dreams because their environment doesn’t support their passion much.

That’s how deadly your social environment are. It could help you to perform your best. But at the same time, it could also destroy all of your dreams.

How does our social environment shape us?

First, you need to understand how yourself works. Let’s use this analogy.


Imagine that yourself is a computer.

Your body aspects including all of your 5 senses are the hardware. While your mental aspects (mind, emotion, desire, consciousness, and subconsciousness) are the software.

And then who you are? Let’s say that you (your spiritual self) are the one that operates that computer.

As the hardware, your body is your input & output device. It collects the data to process it using the software.

Got it, right?

Now, your environment, everything around you, is all the data. Your classmates, your room’s atmosphere, the food you eat, everything is a data.

Your body captures the data around you and process them in your mental aspect.

For example, your friend said this: “Why are you always studying? Let’s takes time off today and go to the café with us.”

Those sentence is captured through your ears and goes to your mind.

It is being processed through your mind and then it becomes an emotion.

Maybe you have a dilemma. In one hand, you need to study to get a good score. In other hands, you don’t want to lose your friend just because you have to study.

It turns out that the fear of losing your friend is stronger than getting a good score. After that, your emotion turns into desire, it goes to your consciousness and it becomes an action.

The action is you decided to go with your friend to the café.

Understand the point?

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
― Jim Rohn

You also have to know that not all the information goes to your conscious mind, there is also information that goes directly to your subconscious mind. Your memory. It becomes an automatic action for you.

For example, if you surrounds yourself with high-achievers, you will subconsciously have more motivation to do your work.

It works just like the previous example, the difference is all the information you got is being processed in your subconsciousness.

It becomes automatic for you that if you are not doing your work, you will feel guilty. Because everyone around you is motivated to do their work.

Their value has been internalized to yourself.

The same thing will happen if people around you is unmotivated. Believe me, soon you will become unmotivated in whatever you do too.

Because you just cannot ignore all the information around you.

Then, what you should do?

Here’re some tips for you if you are also trapped with this problem:

1. Choose carefully the people you spent most of your time.

As I explained before, the people that you spent most of your time will affect your behavior and value.

If you believe in your dreams and you wanted to realize it, spent your time with the people that will help you to reach your dreams.

Befriend with enthusiast people that also have dreams. They will at least gives you energy most of the time.

Also, have a mentor. A mentor is basically someone that is already 10x successful than you in your area that has a responsibility to improve yourself. Spend some of your time with your mentor.

Sooner or later, their hard work and enthusiasm through life will influence you.

2. Avoid negative people at all cost.

A toxic person is someone that being negative all the time. They feel anything that happened to themselves is the worst.

They always complain, they always said destructive criticism to people, and the most dangerous thing is, they sucked your energy.

Dealing with a negative person is hazardous for yourself. They will destroy you without you even knowing it. Especially if your best friend is a negative person.

For me, it’s better to just avoid them at all cost. Having a debate with them is so exhausting and wasting your time.

If you don’t want to risk your motivation, just avoid them.

3. Hack your mind.

The environment around you is giving you information, but the one that processes the information is your mind. Though it needs some time to practice.

This is a mind-hacking technique to help you reduce the effect of a negative environment: change your mindset.

From now on, when your friend asks you for an unfavorable request, just say no. Say that you have something more important.

Change your mindset from “I have to please everyone” to “I have a priority, I need to say no to things that unfavorable to my goal.”

It’s always hard to start, you may feel guilty at first. But as time passed, your friend will respect you more. If they’re not, you already know that your friend is not worthy for yourself.


The social environment around you shapes who you are, what you thought, and what you do. It could be beneficial and at the same times dangerous for you. Therefore, you need to design your inner circle. Decide carefully on who you spent most of your time.

But remember this fact, if you cannot change the people around you, you can always change yourself. Do not ever blame the situation you are in. You still can change how you process the information. Hack your mind and you will be free of distraction.

May all creatures in this world lives in joy.

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