Are you a product of your environment, or is your environment a product of you?
We are frequently told that we are the product of our environment – that our surroundings influence our thinking and behavior. This is not always true. We all have the ability to stay focused no matter what environment we are in.
You can shape the world around you into what you want it to be by tailoring your actions in the direction of what gives you the most return of investment on your time. When we learn about famous figures in history who changed the world, we often ask the profound but unavoidable question, “Why not me?” What sets these people apart?
Successful figures who change the world create their own environment. This is how:
- Instead of letting your environment determine the outcome of your actions, reduce the distractions around you and avoid Debbie Downers or negative energy. Those that struggle or find excuses for why they aren’t achieving goals will point blame at everyone else – their environment controlling them versus them controlling their environment.
- You don’t try and fail – you try and you learn. Learn to look at failure as simply a stepping stone on the path to success. A way to learn is way to earn. What works, what doesn’t, and most importantly – what holds you back more than anything else? It could be embarrassment, fear of being judged, or feeling unworthy. Identify which fears and doubts you have on your path to success, and then:
- Practice the art of trial and error. Evaluate your results prior to taking new steps, and always self-reflect. You will be patching the leaks in your environment. By doing this, you will create your own durable environment and others will not be able to punch holes in your purpose
- Sometimes “no” is just a delayed “yes.” What is the worst that can happen to you if someone says “no?” Many people are terrified of being rejected. Creating your own environment is learning how to increase the probability of people saying yes by continuously building value in yourself and always asking the question of what’s in it for them. This creates control over your environment because people like to feel valued, and the more value you put into someone, the less they will control you.
- Master your own skills in the most important areas of your job description. People want to be around experts, experienced professionals, and independent achievers. Become a teacher of your skills, and those who are eager to learn and grow will be magnetized to you.
- No matter where you are, learn to look for the influencing factors in your natural environment. Learn to quickly and fluidly recognize the natural advantages or disadvantages of any environment you’re in – both the strong suits and the weak points. By being conscious of your surroundings, you greatly increase your ability to have the greatest effect on the world around you.
- Amp up your energy. People are like mirrors. We often match our own energy, attitude, and enthusiasm to that of the person we’re communicating with. When speaking to others, treat every statement you make like it’s the most important point anybody has ever heard. If you don’t seem excited about it, why should your audience be? Let your energy be infectious – let it radiate into the environment around you and transform the way that others think about the world around them.
- Learn how to build bridges. People come from a vast variety of backgrounds and sometimes incompatible belief systems. Being influential and bringing about change requires the ability to connect with a diverse audience and encourage open communication and collaboration between divergent groups and individuals. Sometimes, influencing people is about helping to change their way of thinking to facilitate collaboration between individuals with conflicting views.
- Look to the future. Formulate a solidified picture in your mind of what you want your future to look like. Your thoughts, visually and mentally, will absorb this picture through time. As time goes on, you will develop yourself more into this mental image. The importance of this factor is to stay true to yourself, be within yourself, but mold yourself into the image you seek most.
- The groundwork you lay in the current moment will create the future path you’ll walk down. The way you spend your time is the greatest choice you can make in shaping the future world around you. Be intentional with your time.
– Tim S. Marshall, Author of “The Power of Breaking Fear”
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“The Power of Breaking Fear”
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