Who’s in your Kula?

In my yoga class a few weeks ago, my instructor mentioned a quote attributed to Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” She went on to develop this idea based on ‘kula’, the Sanskrit noun for “tribe, clan, family, house, troop, or community.”

While I personally believe we are shaped by more than our five closest alliances, I agree the people we choose to surround us day-to-day are very strong influences on our moods and motivations.


I’m (temporarily) working on-site in my previous position this month and I can definitely say that I am not the best person I can be in that environment. The chaos and CYA mentality of my specific work situation drains my energy and makes me frustrated and angry. I find myself caught up in “tyranny of the urgent” and make bad calls on the fly. My ‘tribe’ there is not a community that inspires me to growth and positive development.  And you know what? I’m OK with this knowledge – it just confirms what the past 5 months have already showed me. I can’t fix situations or people who don’t want to be fixed, and I’m completely content to work from home doing proactive work that I’m proud of for a management team who was willing to create a position to keep me on board with the company. Just because I was effective at my previous position doesn’t mean that I should be doing it now.

So I’ve been musing: who are the people I’m going to encircle myself with in this new phase of my life? Who are the positive motivators? Who is encouraging me to be the best person I can be? And how do I bring the same qualities into their lives?


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