People say “You are the sum of the 5 people closest to you,” all the time.  While that has always resonated with me, it never really caused me to make a change. But a variation of this concept has, and the variation is proximity. Here’s where I saw proximity truly impact my choices.

It Was a Cheat Day

I was with a group of colleagues recently. We just worked out, and we were going to go to a hip restaurant. Because I knew the menu, I decided it was going to be a cheat day.  Heck, it was the weekend! Now, I’m not super into it into fitness, but the guys with me definitely were. Regardless, I was going to enjoy my cheat day by getting a burger, fries, and all of that.

Burger or Salad

I was the fourth person in line, and the every person in front of me within the group was ordering salad with a protein on top and the dressing on the side. What do you think I ordered? Not the burger! I ordered the salad with a protein on top and dressing on the side.  Now you many of you may hear that and say, “Oh yeah, and you’re just trying to fit in.” Maybe there’s a little bit of peer pressure, but to me that resonated as the principle of proximity. In the context of what we had just been doing and how I wanted to perceive myself as someone who makes healthy choices, I ordered a salad.