Many people ask themselves what is success in life, and where do I start? The meaning of success is different for everybody, but a common theme would be to be in a continual state of becoming. A good place to start is to think about your environments. Do you find that you feel stressed or uncertain, frustrated, overwhelmed, inadequate or even uninspired at times? Most people find themselves in one of these emotional states from time to time, particularly when faced with a new challenge or obstacle in life. These are automatic thought reactions and are very normal. If you find yourself in these states very often, it is worth reflecting on the environments where you spend most of your time. Taking time to reflect in this area will help you become aware, take stock, and understand their impact on your habits and behaviours, ultimately driving your life’s success.
Environments can either lift you and inspire you or unconsciously hold you back in life by draining energy and distract you from achieving your goals. The key is to notice them, make changes as you see necessary, and stick to the change for at least 100 days to form the new habit. Most people become inspired to make positive changes in their life and inevitably go back to their same old habits and behaviours. An example of this could be consuming healthier foods or beginning a new exercise program. Why are most people unable to make lasting change, you may ask? The reason is that they try to use willpower and motivation alone instead of changing their environment. I am referring to our physical space, the people we surround ourselves with, the books we read, our thoughts, and the places we spend time. Consider everything around you in life and long-term changes that could impact your wealth, health, happiness and well-being.
Choose Healthy Environments
Acknowledging that you are a product of your environment is the first step to enhancing life experiences, evolving and living a healthier lifestyle. Our environments impact the way we think, behave and feel. I will point out some critical environments to consider. Remember that everything is connected biologically, and energy is everything. We all have beliefs, ideas, knowledge and concepts that we inherited from our previous generations. In most cases, they would have been passed down to us by our parents, school teachers and friends. Our core beliefs were adopted from them and formed at the early ages of 0-7 years. Knowing this, if you had to adopt their ideas about living healthy, happy and abundantly, would you? Do you think you might change a couple of things about the way they thought about health, happiness and money based on their result that you see now? It is worth reflecting on this.
If you are considering changes to improve your life, look at the information you have been consuming from your environment. Consider what you hear on the radio, tv, social media, print, and information people share every day. Is it positive or negative? Is it inspiring or expiring? Does it help you or hold you back? Again the key is being consciously aware and standing guard to the door of your mind.
The more quality information you learn and take in, the more good you can do for other people and loved ones around you. Have a read through the environments below and consider if you have room to improve and change one or more to live a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.
Your body is your life, and it needs energy to perform optimally. Are your primary energy sources coming from good wholesome, nutritious food and positive, inspiring people? Or do you eat junk food and often spend time with people that have a negative outlook on life? Do you agree that nutrition, exercise, personal care and people can impact your overall health? They are all sources of energy. Do you spend most of your day in a sedentary position in front of a computer screen? Do you think this adds to or drains your energy? Do you often feel guilt and want to lose weight? We all need to have optimal health to perform well day-to-day. To do this, we must carefully choose to get exercise, select and prepare nutritious meals, and consume quality information. A simple example and tip could be to avoid filling your cupboards with sugar-loaded snacks. If they exist in your environment, they will win over your willpower, especially in the evenings when you are not in your strongest state.
Network environments are your social groups, friends, and associations. Ask yourself, what are the best networks to join to improve my thinking, finances, health, career, or business? If you find that you are associated with an inspiring group to be with, then continue to participate, but if it is not, best to move on. Your net worth is often connected to your network. Those who spend their time in groups of successful people will often achieve success themselves.
I am referring to your money, investments, stocks, insurance and real estate. In well-designed environments, these items will take care of themselves. For example, hiring a wealth expert planner, a lawyer, a tax accountant, or a mentor will support you with long-term success. Consider Robo-advisors and software for investments to help you succeed. Ask yourself if you are handling this all with planned intention or by default? With the right team and the right shift in mindset, you can improve and accelerate your financial well-being.
Your Physical Space
Your physical environment is the most comfortable place to change. Consider your home, office, desk, car, possessions, equipment, or even the pictures or art in your home. If this environment is designed right, it translates to being highly efficient, focused, and conducive to performing at higher levels. Alternatively, if there is clutter, it can create chaos, overwhelm and a cluttered mind.
Remove clutter, get organized and start with the most comfortable things. Once you experience this, you will find that you will get more energy and focus instead of feeling overwhelm and depleted. Some examples could be to add some art, motivational pictures, or a vision board on your office wall to help you get and stay in a state of flow. Images of your vision, for example, will get impressed into your subconscious mind over time and propel you towards higher levels of achievement. Add more natural light and bright colours to the rooms where you spend most of your time. Your bedroom is for sleep and rest, so remove any electronics that activate your mind instead of calming and winding you down. Late entertainment can impact your sleep hygiene and your energy levels for the next day.
Spend time frequently in natural areas surrounded by plants, trees, animals, river streams and, in general, the beautiful outdoors. Getting out and connecting with nature is calming and uplifting. Taking a break from your hectic day to do this is a healthy way to reset and recharge. There are many parts of the world with limited sunlight at certain times of the year. I experience this to some degree living in Canada. It snows in the winter, and our temperatures drop to frigid levels. We all need sunlight to give us energy and convert to vitamin D. If you live in a part of a world that’s uninspiring, could that impact your body, mind, finances? It certainly can. You have a choice and can design, change or leave environments. Many Canadians live in multiple settings and escape the cold winters for warmer climes for several months. Do you live in a part of the world that inspires you?
There are many world religions, and their primary belief is in a higher power. Spirituality, in essence, is a belief in that higher power. Ask yourself, are my environments making me feel connected or disconnected? With so much noise and distraction out there, especially with social and traditional media, you must ask yourself how do I stay in a state of flow and connection. Set your environment up, create habits, and practice mindful awareness, and you will have more energy, focus, and concentration.
Self environments are your strengths, talents, skills, knowledge and mindset. Successful people often live their lives by consciously designing their environments instead of living by default. They understand who they are, and they hire coaches and mentors to support and improve their strengths, skills, and talents. You can achieve your goals efficiently and effectively when you stop relying on yourself and start looking to others who have the knowledge and skills you need to accelerate achievement.
The relationship environment is your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances. They can be the most difficult to change when you find some of them to be challenging, unpleasant, or energy-draining. Most people avoid changes in this area because they are too comfortable and familiar with the status quo. In this case, don’t focus on this one first. Focus on all the others, and once you find opportunities to adjust or upgrade in any of those areas, you may find your relationship challenges will dissolve as a result. Make a point to be open to meeting new people, career-oriented professionals, and entrepreneurs who are happy, healthy, and successful in life. Once you begin doing this, you will evolve as you find yourself in new environments all the time.
All of these areas of your life are connected. If you are struggling with one of them, it can affect any of the others. Take inventory of these areas in your life now and ask yourself, is change possible? Are you living in a slow-moving, low-energy environment? Are you experiencing resistance and feel stuck instead of feeling inspired? Don’t let the past hold you back. Consider your future and whether your environments serve you to grow your health, happiness and success. Look for a constant source of inspiration that will drive you to work on upgrading your daily habits, goals, and actions.
If this resonates with you, do one small thing to make a change today. Share one action step you are considering by commenting below.