Workout of the Day

You're Infectious


There’s a certain responsibility that I believe comes with being a human. As social creatures, we all are influenced by and have influence over other humans we encounter. The grocery clerk, your child, your boss, your friend, your casual acquaintances, and the guy you stand in line next to for 45 minutes at the DMV. Like it or not, in the same way that sharing space with someone who has the flu can pretty quickly land you with the flu (or the inverse -- you passing the flu on to someone else), the attitudes, perspectives, moods, and actions you and others put out there are infectious to those in your circle. In psychology and sociology, this concept of social emotional mirroring is called emotional contagion. In everyday speak, we may refer to this as your “energy” or “vibe.”

You’ve likely heard the quote from Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This is an incredibly powerful idea -- an encouragement to consider how your social choices are influencing you, and even to make positive changes in this department where necessary. But right now I’m more interested in turning the focus around, looking at how you influence those around you rather than how they influence you. Here’s where that responsibility that I mentioned above comes into play.

There are two steps to applying this idea.

Step one: identify your vibe.
I’m intentionally using this term loosely, so let me clarify. Consider what perspectives you embody and express (pessimism? optimism? growth-mindedness? fixed-mindedness?); consider what your actions reflect (apathy? aspiration? stagnation? growth?); consider how you interact with new people and ideas (aggressive? open? dismissive? honest?); and consider the take-home message that you may give those in your circle (cynicism? motivation? lethargy? inspiration?).

Step two: elevate your vibe.
Look, if you had a bad case of the flu, you wouldn’t go around willingly infecting everyone around you. That’s just not cool. In the same way, you’ve got a responsibility to make your vibes the type that are going to elevate those around you, not tear them down. Let me clarify: I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to be sad or disappointed or express any negativity. Those are as much a part of the healthy range of human emotion and expression as happiness and excitement. And I’m not saying that you ought to seclude yourself when you do feel any such emotions (this is where our flu analogy falls apart) -- in fact, time with close friends and family can be just the thing to help elevate your mood on a downer day. But if your modus operandi is rooted in habits of pessimism, aggression, fixed-mindedness, and stagnation, what kind of effect are you having in your circle of influence? Are you elevating the vibe? Or are you bringing it down?

As humans living among other humans, we’ve each got an opportunity to make or break things for ourselves and everyone else. You are infectious, and that can be a good or a bad thing. Yes, you should surround yourself with the right people, but you should also be one of the “right people.”
Set the standard high, folks -- this one’s on all of us. Let’s do it right!

- PS


  • For time:

    • 6x50m sprint

  • Sandbag carry - 6x50m (AHAP)