When we seek to make a change in our lives, we often think to change our inner state. Taking care of our psyche and health is indeed important. Also, changing your circle of influence is also important. Remember, your income is probably a reflection of your five closest friends. However, that’s not the focus of our post today. It’s about the Power of Context.
The Power of Context, a concept of author Malcolm Gladwell, states that a person is greatly influenced by their surroundings or environment. Since it’s mostly subconscious reactions, we’re not aware of our subtle adaptations to our environment. However, fascinating predictions can be made based upon it.
Checking Your Environment
You’ve probably never given much thought to your close environment, but it’s important to pay heed to it. For example:
• What’s the average income in your neighborhood?
• Are there any positive influential figures in your neighborhood?
• Do you often hear police sirens in your neighborhood?
• What’s the mood of the place where you grocery shop? Positive? Warm? Rundown? Destitute?
• What kind of workplace do you work in? Inspirational? Innovative? Stressful? Cold?
• What type of people surround you in the places that you hang out? Driven? Complacent? Negative?
These aren’t things that people often think about, but they’re important. Depending on the environment in which you function, it sends certain messages. You must ensure that the person that you desire to be is reflected in the environment that you live in. Otherwise, your environment may be holding you back with you not even knowing it.
What to Do
It’s important to put yourself in as many environments with driven or wealthy elite people as possible. If you find that you currently are not in any, it’s time to brainstorm. Otherwise, you’re in danger of reflecting the environment you live in despite the fact that you consciously do not want to do so.
Have no fear if you currently don’t have the income to move yourself to a better environment. Many wealthy have indeed come from humble beginnings. Jay Z grew up in the poverty-stricken Marcy Projects. Oprah Winfrey came from a poor family and troubled beginnings. Look at them now! The key is to either create a faux environment or to remove yourself from the environment as much as possible.
Removing Yourself: If your neighborhood doesn’t reflect your ideal environment, transport yourself into areas that do. Consider attending events in positive places. Hang out in libraries and universities in high-income areas. Frequent conferences that will empower you and allow you to network with influential people. Spend as much time away from your negative environment as possible. Then once you’re financially capable, move into a better environment. There’s a reason successful people eventually move out of ghettos and poor areas because there’s no way to live life to the fullest within them.
Faux Environment: If you’re finding it difficult to locate an uplifting environment whether at home or at work, create your own. Enrich your environment with positive Feng Shui techniques, uplifting quotes, articles of inspiring role models, and photos that move you to action. Read books that target your goals. Dress for success. Make sure your controllable environment enforces your goals. As unfortunate as it may be, keep your interaction with your environment to a minimum.
*Image courtesy of Gary John Norman.
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