How Friends Can Inspire Each Other To Succeed

You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. – Jim Rohn

So, choose wisely.

Enough said… But I’m not going to let you off the hook that easily!

You see, a couple days ago, my family received a mysterious package…

What's in the box, Dad? C'mon tell me, tell me, tell me. Can you tell I'm excited? Look at my face.


Now, in this package was no mere material goods of predictable quantitative value. In fact, what was inside this box was a dream. Yes, you heard me right, a dream in a box. Mmm. That’s deep.

Not making much sense? Well, allow me to explain…

A couple years ago, my family had the pleasure of meeting another family who we actually met online. Fancy that! But you must know that this was no ordinary family. This was a super-family of sorts, and they were (and still are) really into the outdoors. Like, a lot.

My wife and I have always enjoyed a little outdoor adventure – taking hiking, camping, and kayaking trips, but these guys took it to a whole new level and inspired us to do the same.

Over the last two years, we’ve shared many adventures with these fun-lovin’ folks, and yes, in real life. Don’t believe me? Well, bang, kapow, and SHAZZAM! Those are links to a few of our adventures together. I know, not very descriptive hyperlinks.

As I was saying, these are some very inspiring people because they literally spend a day or weekend outdoors every single week. And I’m not just talking about using a pop-up trailer or even car camping for that matter (that’s not true camping, by the way). I’m talking about back-country backpacking. Yes, where you carry everything you need – on your back. That may not sound enough to impress, but you should know that they have THREE KIDS! And these kids aren’t in their 20’s either. They’re not even teenagers yet. They are truly, kids.

And yet, they still get out every single week as a family, and this is inspiring to me, to say the least.

So, you’re probably wondering what was in the package.

Voilà!

Nemo Pentalite Tent
The Nemo "Pentalite" pyramid-style, ultralight backpacking tent.

It’s a Nemo “Pentalite” pyramid-style, ultralight backpacking tent (with “wedge” accessory). Yep. That’s an eency-weency bit nicer than our Coleman tent. And yes, it is family-sized. Technically, you’re only supposed to be able to fit four in the tent, and one more under the vestibule. But I think five adults could sleep comfortably assuming you don’t have a ton of gear to stow. Of course, some people didn’t believe it, and you know me. I always need to have the last word!

Nemo Pentalite Tent
Technically, there's only room for five, but John (on the left) thinks there's room for six.

So, there you have it. Proof that a family of five can enjoy ultralight backpacking – something that goes completely against conventional thought. We figure that we’ll be able to fit three kids in this tent until they’re old enough to want their own. The dog can sleep under the vestibule, which sounds like “vegetable” if you say it five times fast with a slur.

Back on target! Why am I sharing this with you? Well, for two reasons actually.

1) To publicly thank the Tougas family for investing in our dream to raise a family that regularly pursues outdoor adventure.

2) To show you that investing in the right relationships will usually bring you closer to your goals (this is especially true of physical and/or fitness goals). Like I said: choose wisely. If you find someone who believes in you and your dreams, hang onto them, and believe in their dreams, too. Likewise, be wary of people who tear you down and refuse to believe in your potential. The vision you have for your life will be directly affected by the vision’s contained in your circle of family and friends.

Final Words

It’s one thing to tell someone that you believe in them. It’s quite another to put your money where your mouth is, and prove to them that you believe they can achieve great things. For people with a health and fitness goal, it can be as simple as buying them some cool workout gear that they would be excited to use or wear, or better yet, inviting them out for some physical excursion. Keep in mind that the message you convey is more important than the medium you choose. Said another way, just the token of your confidence will be enough to inspire them – whether you buy them a tropical vacation to get in shape for, or just a new pair of workout shorts.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

The opposite of that phrase is also true. Your five closest friends are, at least partially, an average of you. In fact, you are rubbing off on your family and friends whether you want to or not. So, for every time you are not succeeding, you’re also holding others back. On the flip side, every time you are positive and encouraging, you are projecting that on others as well. So, take it upon yourself to be the best YOU possible, so they can be the best they can be, too. I know it’s cliché, but it’s the truth.

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CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPT
Health-First Fitness Coach

7 Responses

  1. Woah. Who are these people, I need to hang around with them more! ;-)

    Thanks so much for all those kind words! It goes both ways, we REALLY appreciate getting to know you guys as well. I am excited to see where this stuff takes you!

    And to tie your previous blog post together with this one… what happens if the people who inspire you and who you want to hang-out with only exist online? As in, they are not local to where you live? That is one of the more frustrating things for us…

    • Yeah, it’s frustrating, but then again, this technology has created relationships that would have never happened otherwise.

  2. John (aka Wish I Were Riding)

    Hey John, Just wanted to say I loved this post. The picture of you in the tent is hilarious. But mostly the sentiments in this post are amazing and powerful, so thank you to you, and thank you to the Tougas family for inspiring you to post a post like this!

  3. Um… who are these people?

    It is our honor and pleasure to help you reach your dreams and here I thought we were just giving you a tent…

    We miss you guys.

    • Hey Renee!

      I’ll paraphrase the late martial arts legend, Bruce Lee, when I say that:

      “Before I learned the art of backpacking, a tent was just a tent, and a pack, just a pack. After I learned the art of backpacking, a tent was no longer a tent, a pack, no longer a pack. Now that I understand the art of backpacking, a tent is just a tent and a pack is just a pack.”

      You guys are in the last stage because you now understand the art of backpacking. Thus, a tent is just a tent. My family is still in the learning stage, and so a simple tent has become so much more :-)

      Miss you guys, too :(

  4. Like your writing style, its neat. If you hang around people that don’t like being healthy and taking life by the balls its going to be hard trying to achieve your goals.

    and LOL at the tent gang!

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