I am surrounded by people who don’t share the same interests as me. What should I do?

Jon Morrow shared a piece of advice on the James Altucher show that was extremely valuable for someone who wants to transcend their surroundings.

Here’s an excerpt from James’ show notes:

Jon was paralyzed from the neck down. He needed to reconstruct his reality. “I can only move my facial muscles,” he said. He would’ve went crazy. But he made a new plan. “I started listening to audiobooks and podcasts 4-8 hours a day,” he said. His goal was to spend more time listening to inspirational stories than he actually spent in his own life. I needed to understand. I asked Jon, “Why was that your goal?” He said, “If you spend the majority of your time in worlds where people are accomplishing incredible things, all of a sudden that starts to seem normal.”

In the episode, Jon explained how every spare moment of his day, he had earphones in listening to these people tell inspirational stories. The key was to spend more time listening to inspirational stories than he actually spent in his own life. It was only when he had to that he returned to reality.

But over time, an interesting thing happened.

The world of inspiring people he constantly listened to became his new reality.

He became one of these inspiring people, overcoming his circumstances and building a seven-figure business against all odds.

This reminded me of The Matrix where people “plug in” to a different world and live there in their minds. It may not be their real life, but it feels just like it until you unplug and wake up.

I’m surrounded by great people in my life. Absolutely amazing people. We share some common interests.

But no one I know in-person shares my interest in financial independence, early retirement, and earning passive income.

So over the last decade, I’ve found myself inhaling as much information on this subject as possible from the internet to fill this void. I’ve read dozens of books, listened to hundreds of podcasts, reached out to experts, and discovered new role models and mentors who have achieved what I want to achieve.

Although I’ve never met these people, I actually feel as close to them as the people I know in real life. I celebrate their successes. I feel bad for them when bad things happen to them.

With the internet, we all have virtual access to people we never had access to 10 years ago.

You may not be able to meet them in real life, but you can read their books, listen to their stories, and gain from their perspective. Here’s what I suggest you do:

  • Read books that interest you
  • Listen to podcasts that inspire you
  • Take courses and learn skills you want to have

If you’re not physically surrounded by people who don’t share the same interests as you, then transcend your physical surroundings and go virtual. You’ll be able to find all the inspiration you need to achieve whatever you want in life.

Featured image via James Altucher.

First published on Quora.


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