Shaping the world around you before it shapes you

“Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.” Earl Nightingale

Photo by Patrick McManaman on Unsplash

Mindset or Environment?

There’s a lot of different concepts around what helps us to strive, learn, grow and become better. One big part is how we think about things that happen to us. Another part is about who and what surrounds us and the opportunities that come through our environment.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what has a bigger impact on a successful, happy life: mindset or environment. I also strongly believe these two are intertwined and affect each other.
What actually matters is: how do you actively shape your mindset and environment? As of the environment one might be quick to think it’s not easily changeable. However, there is ways to put more emphasis on those things that surround you and have the power to help you to lead the life you dream of.

The impact of your environment on your behavior: the chocolate case

Look more closely at the quote above — don’t judge if it is necessarily 100% true or not. Do you agree that we are impacted by our environment and the people we spend time with?
I am definitely happier around optimistic people, when the sun is shining and while I am at the ocean. Particularly, if I compare it to grey days in a concrete jungle around people who tend to interpret everyone else’s actions through a dark lens.
I am also more likely to eat chocolate if it is available compared to going out and buying it specifically. (Don’t get me wrong, on tough days I might send my partner to buy it from a late night store — but that’s another story).

So, what do these examples tell us?

There is an opportunity to shape our environment in a way that is beneficial for what we want to achieve. So, if I want to eat more healthy stuff, I rather buy veggies and fruits than chocolates and cakes. And if I want to be in a good mood, I spent time with people or things that help me with that.

The way towards shaping your environment

If you take that idea further and think about more specific life goals… how would you shape that? When it comes to people, you might consider to think about how you can spend more time with those who have already achieved what you set out to do. Who is a step ahead, who is already there? How could you go about spending time with them?

Luckily, there’s a lot of opportunities to connect to people these days, directly and indirectly.

The person you admire might share thoughts and stories through books, podcasts, YouTube, Twitter or Clubhouse. Listen and read to understand how they went about their journey. Feel their vibe and spirit through engaging with them. At Twitter or Clubhouse there’s also easy ways of direct interaction possible. Go out and connect. Beyond that, find groups of people who want the same thing as you but are a step ahead. Again, our so well-connected world offers a lot of opportunities to do so online.

At the same time — as with chocolate — reduce your exposure to those people and environments that hold you back. The less you are impacted by negativity or limitations, the more likely you are to succeed.

If what you want to achieve becomes your norm through daily interaction, it is going to be much more likely that your patterns change towards your goals. Be proactive and shape your environment before it shapes you!


Let me know what you think at carolin @

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