You can’t choose your family (except you can and should, in a way), but you can choose your friends.
And you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, the supposedly wise phrase says.
You wouldn’t want to be the smartest person in the room, or you wouldn’t be learning all that much anymore, clearly.
Nice advice. If you have a view of friends that is fleeting like the coming and going of Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
Consider it from the other perspective:
If you are the dumbest of your friends and they don’t want to decrease the average that supposedly makes them, have such an instrumental view of friends as well… Then you’ll be the one going bye-bye.
Are you really sure you’re doing enough for your friends for them to want to keep you around?
Sure that you are doing your best to raise the collective average?
The problem with that piece of advice goes a bit deeper yet…
There clearly seem to be group effects, but still:
Why are you so externally directed if you are on that great journey of self-discovery and improvement?
Also, if you are above 30 (or already in your 20s), especially if you are male, chances are you’ll not really make any more great friends, so is trying to change them really the wise choice…? Maybe it’s better to be happy with the friends you have and to make sure that you are, in fact, all friends who’ll be there for each other.
Part of “Triptych of five friends”, Undated, from simpleinsomnia, on Flickr, licensed CC BY 2.0