by Niall Doherty

I want to tell you about a good friend of mine named John Rebstock.

Whenever John meets someone inspiring, someone who seems to be living life to the fullest and enjoying the journey, he asks that person, “Who do you listen to?”

John wants to know what ideas such people fill their heads with. Who are their mentors? Who are they inspired by? What kind of books do they read? What thoughts do they allow themselves to think, and which ones do they banish? What are the inputs that produce those outputs?

These are also good questions to ask yourself.

Who do you listen to? Who’s filling your head with ideas? Who’s influencing your thoughts and actions?

Are those people serving you well? Do they build you up or tear you down? Do they help you reach your potential or are they keeping you stuck? Are they all about possibilities or are they all about limitations?

If you’re not living the life you want, here’s what you do: identify some people who are living the life you want. Reach out to them and ask who they listen to. Then, stop listening to everyone else, and listen only to them.

Who do I listen to?

As I wrote last week, my big hairy audacious goal is to start my own business at the end of the year. This business will allow me to work less hours than I currently do while making more money and delivering more value to the world. And within a few months of getting started, I’ll be in a position where I can pick up and move to a foreign country at a moment’s notice, working as I travel without missing a beat.

To ensure I achieve this goal, I’m being very selective with the people I choose to listen to. My general rule: I only listen to people who have done specifically what I am trying to do, or at least some specific part of what I am trying to do.

To date, I’ve identified several such people. Below are some big ones, listed alphabetically:

Glen Allsopp

Glen is still in his early 20’s but already an expert at viral marketing and search engine optimization (i.e. generating lots of web traffic). He takes websites from zero to win in record speed and tells how you, too, can generate a boatload of passive income online.

Everett Bogue

Everett blogs about minimalism at Far Beyond The Stars. Through embracing a minimalist lifestyle, he was able to quit his day job in 2009 and is now earning more money than ever via his writing. He owns just 50 things, giving him the freedom to migrate across the country whenever he feels like it.

Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi might seem like an odd choice here, sandwiched between young, computer-savvy entrepreneurs and heavy hitters from the business world. But I can think of no better role model for speaking your mind, striving for improvement and standing up for what you believe in than the Mahatma. He was truth and courage personified. For the last few weeks I’ve been reading and summarizing The Essential Gandhi for twenty minutes each morning. Powerful way to start the day.

Seth Godin

Seth is a master marketer and entrepreneur, one of those guys who can spot the next big thing before it’s even a thing. He encourages people to question the status quo, to be bold, to lead. I’m currently reading and loving his book, Tribes. He also blogs regularly.

Tim Ferriss

I first read Tim’s book The 4-Hour Work Week almost two years ago, and that planted the seed of entrepreneurship in me that is now starting to sprout. He’s undoubtedly been a big influence on some other people on this list, too.

Bob Proctor

Right now I’m in the middle of a ten-week group study of Bob’s classic book, You Were Born Rich. Through that material I can feel myself developing a more abundant mindset in relation to money, and deepening my understanding of what it will take to meet my financial goals.

Colin Wright

Colin blogs about lifestyle design and his countless adventures at Exile Lifestyle. He is a man of many interests, a master networker (both online and in-person) and he moves himself and his minimalist business to a new country every four months.

Those are just a few of my guides on this journey I’m undertaking. You can find some more via my following list on Twitter.

What about you? I’d love to know who you listen to, and how those people help you achieve your lofty goals.

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