How Important Are Your Surroundings?
Remember that your surroundings, your environment and your community will play a very important role in determining your success.
Have you ever heard the expression
“It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys”?
There is a lot of truth in that statement. If you are surrounded by negative influences you cannot expect to fly high and achieve your aims based purely on positive energy.
It’s much easier to follow the trends of the majority. It’s much easier to let the overwhelming negative energy infiltrate your fortress of optimism than it is to convert others to your viewpoint. This not only applies to people but also to places and things.
For example, if you dream of becoming an actor but don’t want to leave your hometown in favor of Los Angeles, then you are fighting against the environment. If you want to become more physically fit but only have friends that over-eat and deride your goals, then you’re constantly going uphill to reach even the easiest steps. If you want to stop using drugs and alcohol but stay inside neighborhoods that have high crime, then it’s a losing battle.
You must be able to identify negative influences, whether these influences are people, places or things, and then remove yourself from the situation. Sometimes negative messages are overt, such as a person telling you that you will not succeed. However, negativity can also be subtle—from a condescending look by one to even the proliferation of stereotypes that we get from TV and movies.
When we live and grow in a negative environment, we tend to become like the people and the community around us. Just think of all the good people who became criminals because of their negative childhood influences. Because of a misguided education, they could never break away from these vices and from the lifestyle.
Not only must you try and remove yourself from the negative influences, but you must put yourself in a more positive setting. You want an environment that can encourage you to reach your goals. That might mean making new friends or even moving into a community that shares your values.
If a vegetarian is having trouble resisting meat, he or she will seek out association with other vegetarians or vegans for moral support.
Your community—which includes your circle of friends, your continuing education and your choice of entertainment—will shape who you become. Remember this as you decide to make necessary changes in life. If you are unwilling to part ways with negative influences then you will probably not succeed. It may be time to re-adjust your goals to a more a realistic outcome; not different from your surroundings, but just a tad better than the majority.
In this case you would be an over-achiever, not someone who is going against the tide.