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Have you ever heard the Jim Rohn saying "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with?" Well, truer words were never spoken. At Black Zen, we consistently look for ways to create the best conditions for our success and our peace, and the most important factor we've found in achieving this has been surrounding ourselves with amazing, ambitious and authentic people who inspire us to be our best. It's these folks who truly make up a winner's circle.

These are the people that remind us of our best qualities when we've lost our way or they're the ones who remind us of how capable we are when we hit a roadblock in the way of our progress. They push or challenge us towards excellence, whether by example or by prodding us to reach our highest potential. Knowing all this, it’s time to ask yourself…who's in your squad?

There are 3 types of people that absolutely need to be on your team - the iron sharpener, the light shiner, and the cheerleader. The iron sharpener keeps you on your toes and ensures that you keep bringing your best to the table. The light shiner is the one who reminds you of the lessons you forgot, and is there when it’s time to see your situation from a different perspective. And the cheerleader, well, that one pretty much speaks for itself. Even the strongest of us need someone who fully supports our growth, and no matter what, is always on our team. That is your ride or die. When the chips go down, that’s the teammate who will go through the fire with you. Sometimes that’s your best friend, your partner, your mom, etc. For a great breakdown of each type of quality to have on your team, check out These 3 Kinds of Friends Will Help You Get Ahead.

While the 3 types of people listed above are your thoroughbreds, you want to make sure you have a well-rounded team in your stable. Take the time to think through the other folks who may not be in your inner circle (think: professional mentors, acquaintances to have fun with, travel buddies, etc.) that are still an important element in creating a well-rounded team. When selecting your team it's also important to know when to trim the fat. There are some people in our lives who just aren't all that positive (ahem ...some family members and old childhood friends included) and while we would never cut them out of our lives entirely, it may be necessary to create a bit of distance to make sure their influence is not derailing our progress. Now is the time to thoughtfully include more of the types of people in your life that will help you maintain a killer winner's circle.

With all this talk of everyone else in your circle, which one are you? How are you adding to the lives of the people around you? As important as it is to have people around who build us up, it's equally important to make sure we're doing the same for our peeps. When we build up and support others, and we thoughtfully include great people on our team, it means everybody in the group gets where they’re trying to go. Even better, we have a ton of fun on the way to getting there!