How Your Environment Shapes You (and What to Do About It)

22.09.2016 |

Episode #6 of the course The fundamentals of self-discipline by Martin Meadows.


Welcome to lesson six.

We’ve already discussed the importance of accountability. Asking a friend to monitor your progress or hiring a coach can do wonders for your self-discipline.

However, you can achieve even better results if you make an effort to pay more attention to your environment, primarily your social surroundings.

As motivational speaker Jim Rohn once famously said, you’re the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time.

If your friends are lazy, unambitious, and live for the weekend parties, you’ll be unlikely to break the mold and achieve success in life.

On the contrary, if your friends are successful individuals who pay attention to their health, constantly work on their goals and better themselves, you can’t help but improve with them.

Open a document or pull out a piece of paper and make a list of the five or ten people closest to you. Using a scale of one to ten, with one having an extremely negative and ten having an extremely positive impact on your life, rank these individuals.

With whom do you spend the majority of your time? Are they positive and supportive, or do they poke fun at you whenever you tell them about your goals?

No matter how strong-willed you are, constant criticism will affect you. What’s the point of keeping people in your life who don’t want the best for you? Reduce time spent with them or eliminate them from your social circle.

If you’re so inclined, try to help the negative individuals change their ways before you stop hanging out with them. Be aware it’s highly unlikely you’ll change them, though.

In addition to your social environment, pay attention to the general input you get from your surroundings. Anything that you interact with on a daily basis can affect you positively or negatively.

Do you read the news? If so, does it positively contribute to your life or introduce more anxiety and stress?

Do you read empowering, inspirational books or books that make you feel you’ll never achieve anything?

Does your physical environment—your home, neighborhood, city, or country—inspire you to work on your goals, or is it demotivating?

Start paying closer attention to your environment and strive to surround yourself with empowering positivity instead of crippling negativity.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about why and how you should be selective in your life. People often chase after the wrong goals, which makes them extremely unlikely to reach them. I’ll reveal how to avoid following the wrong path.

Until tomorrow,


Recommended book

“Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy


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