Modify Your Environment to Succeed

Simply put, the human mind is an amazing piece of software. When you put your all into something, extraordinary things can happen. However, if the same line of thought is applied in a different context, the outcome can be disastrous. Let’s look at the various factors that influence a person’s way of thinking.

The majority of our lives are shaped by unconscious mental and behavioural routines. Such routines could cause us to become robotic. Our thoughts and deeds throughout the “Sansara” have programmed our minds, which is the equivalent of computer software. The Buddhist concept of karma, which states that our present state of consciousness is determined by our past states of consciousness and that the sum of our past experiences is the cause of our present state of consciousness, places a strong emphasis on these ingrained mental tendencies.

Due to the lasting impressions of our ideas and deeds on our subconscious, we are more likely to act in a similar fashion in the future. The phrase “neurons that fire together, wire together” refers to a theory proposed by Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb. From his ground-breaking research, we learn that “any two cells or systems of cells that are regularly active at the same time tend to become “associated,” so that activity in one encourages activity in the other.” Neuroplasticity, the idea that experiences can change the brain, is based on this idea.

How to Align Your Mind to Success

So the question is, how do we update the software that powers our brains? What should we do if we want to change our bad luck? The only way out is to train yourself to be mindful and to think deliberately rather than automatically. When you become mindful, you can train your mind to control your thoughts so that they align with your dreams and goals. Many of you are finding it difficult to keep up with the thousands of thoughts that constantly flood your mind. Changing your environment is an easy way to retrain your mind to focus on productive activities.

Leaving aside genetic factors, the body is mostly what it is given to eat. In a similar vein, the mind becomes exactly what it is given to think about. Your environment, which includes all of the things that influence both your conscious and subconscious ideas, is one of the most significant sources of “mind food,” or items that feed your mind. A bigger influence on our habits, morals, beliefs, attitudes, and personalities can be attributed to the kind of mental nourishment that we take in. Every single one of us was born with the capacity to advance. But the kind of mental nourishment that we give ourselves determines how much of that capacity we have acquired and how we have developed it. This also applies to the amount of mental capacity that we have developed.

Influence from the Environment

Have you ever considered what kind of person you might have become if you had been raised in a different country rather than Sri Lanka, or if you started working in a completely different organisation even within Sri Lanka? What sort of person have you become? What kind of additional value will you bring to the table? There is no way for you to know the answers to these questions with absolute certainty. Having said that, chances are you would be a very different person if you had spent your formative years in a different country or organisation, even within Sri Lanka. Why? This is mostly due to the fact that a different environment would have had an impact on you. It is said that you become a reflection of the people and places where you spend your time.

The environment moulds us and has an effect on the way we think. You should make an effort to identify one of your own habits or mannerisms that you did not learn through observing other people. Things of a less significant nature, such as our preferences in music, food, and clothing, are decided by our environment. The most important thing to remember is that the size of your thoughts, aspirations, attitudes, and even personality are shaped by the size of your environment. Being with negative people for an extended period of time can cause us to think badly.

Being in close quarters with petty people can cause us to develop petty tendencies as well. On the other hand, companionship with individuals who have large ideas raises the level of our thinking; close contact with ambitious people gives us ambition. Companionship with people who have big ideas raises the level of our thinking. The experts agree that your upbringing has a significant impact on the kind of person you are, the views you hold personally, and the circumstances you find yourself in at any given moment in your life. According to most experts, the people you will be one year from now, five years from now, ten years from now, and twenty years from now are nearly totally influenced by the environment you will be living in and the food you will be eating in the middle of your life.

Finding the Ideal Setting

The following steps can help you set up a good environment in which to reach your goals.

Vision Board – One of the most vital components is mental concentration. To that end, it can be helpful to create a “vision board” on which you can pin your hopes and aspirations. You’ll be better able to direct your time, effort, and skills where you will do the most good. If it’s visual, our brains are better able to process it and relay the information to our subconscious. Baby steps, or at least a series of relatively small moves, toward each goal will be facilitated.

Right People – As opposed to allowing your surroundings to hold you back, learn to put them to use. Do not let negative people or oppressive forces convince you that you have lost. Remove the small-minded people who are holding you back, as well as the jealous people who want you to fail. Collaborate with those who have reached the degree of success that you believe to be the minimum acceptable. When you work with experts from different fields, you increase the likelihood of coming up with truly novel solutions to problems. Connect with people of all ages, races, genders, and professions, and keep those relationships strong.

Books – Read new books that will help you achieve your goals. When you read a book, you almost meet the authors and learn about their thought patterns.

Seek Advice from Knowledgeable Individuals- A good coach or mentor can save you decades of time and energy in your life and career. He will show you how to achieve your objectives in a strategic manner. Never put your trust in free advisors.

(The writer is an Expert Trainer and Coach on Mindset Mastery, Motivation, Management, Leadership, and Organisational Transformation. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Project Management Professional, a Management Consultant and a Senior Lecturer attached to the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Moratuwa)

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