Recently I came across a Joe Rogan episode with Aubrey Marcus (#878) which had a wonderful metaphor buried around 2/3rds of the way through. Kind of a nerdy take on "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with".
Joe: "... I see The Rock [Dwayne Johnson] and he has a lot of real genuine positive vibes ... People like that are like rocket fuel."
Aubrey: "I've come to look at our 'selves' like a software operating system that can constantly get rewritten a little bit. Even by the people that you're around. Whether you want to look from the point of mirror neurons, actually experiencing the same emotion as the person you're around, or whether it's just ideas or thoughts or however you want to look at it."
"It's like adding a little bit of code to our codebase, and sometimes it's helpful and sometimes it's a virus. The more you surround yourself with people who have that kind of positive vibe, it's like building on the software in a positive way. Whereas being around more negative people is like planting all these little bugs and viruses you're going to have to scan and remove later."
Joe: "We're essentially all open source"
Aubrey: "Totally. So put yourself in situations where you're adding positivity to that codebase. The books you're reading. The things you're listening too. And be careful of things on TV creating more of the viruses; supporting these negative thought patterns, these limiting beliefs, these things things that are not helpful for the codebase."
I like this, in particular, because it extends beyond people. You are the average of all your collective experiences. Every person, place and event contributes to your collective conscience and perspective of the world.
Who you are today is shaped by the experiences of the past, but who you will be in the future is shaped by the experiences which you choose right now.
And it is a choice. Even not-choosing itself is a choice. Much like culture, you either consciously choose a future or you inadvertently end up with one.
If everything which enters your senses has unfettered commit access to your brain: Are the things you listen to, the words you read and the people you talk to making you empirically better? or worse?