Design Your 9 Environments for Success

Today, I want to fill you in on what I was putting into practice yesterday. This started with a training on the 9 environments of success with Jim Bunch. In the 9 environments of success, I learned that people often fail to make lasting change because they try to use their willpower, instead of leveraging the power of their environments. Everything in your life is an environment, and there are ways that you can design those environments to set you up for success.

Humans interact directly with their environments.  Of the following 9 environments, I feel like there’s some overlap.

The 9 Environments of You

  • Physical
  • Nature
  • Financial
  • Network
  • Relationships
  • Body
  • Self
  • Spiritual
  • Mimetic

You

All these things together are you. At your core you are an indestructible, energetic, and spiritual essence. Part of you is intangible, indefinable, and elusive. This essence of you exists before your birth, and persists after your death.

It’s important to consider and leverage your environments in order to make lasting change and experience success. A fish in a dirty fish bowl cannot be healthy. That fish will auto-intoxicate in the dirty water. In a similar way, humans cannot be healthy if their environments are unhealthy because we are all a product of our environments.

Environments can either inspire us, and add energy, or they can expire us, and drain our energy.

Mimetics

Mimetics, or memes, are ideas, concepts and beliefs. This is an intangible environment in that you can’t really point to it, or hold it in your hand. Mimetics are the knowledge that we absorb from our environments, and we typically build a lot of early beliefs on our early environments. If you grew up in a home that was always very light, very open, and very clean you’re going to have a different environmental experience than if you grew up in a cramped, dirty, dark sub-basement.

It’s really important to question anything in your environment. You should take a look at it, or think about it, and ask, “Is this inspiring, or is it expiring me?” This could be, you know, an object, or information, or a social group. It doesn’t matter.

You can ask this question about anything because everything is an environment. Just ask yourself if this is inspiring, and adding energy and value to life, or not. Is it draining energy and power? Stand guard at the door of your mind because if you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out.

You must upgrade your thinking AND your environment, or else you’re going to lapse into your old patterns and behaviours. A lot of people will change their environment, but they won’t upgrade their thinking. They keep running into the same problems. Similarly, people who upgrade their thinking but don’t upgrade their environment will lapse into their old patterns again and again and again because your environment will actually drag you backwards.

Think about it like this: it’s 10pm and you you feel like you need a snack, so you go up to your kitchen. If your kitchen is full of chocolate, and chips and Pizza Pockets, then that’s what you’ll eat. You can set yourself up for success by choosing only to have things in your environment that are healthy. Then you have optimized your environment to help you make better choices when your willpower might not be as strong. This is important to consider because otherwise you will lapse back into your old patterns and behaviours.

Now, we’re going to talk about some of the different environments a little more specifically.
We’ll begin by looking at your body as an environment.

Your Body

Your body is the environment of you that interacts directly with other environments physically. The body environment includes things like health, your energy, and your diet. For all these things, ask, “Is this inspiring, or expiring?” Consciously design your environments to inspire you. For example, you can eliminate unhealthy foods from your environment, and you can can add in healthier options.

Your Self

The next environment we’re going to look at is the environment of the self. Now, the self is an intangible environment. You can’t feel it like you feel your body. It’s not something you can point to and go, “Hey, there’s my self.” The environment of the self is all about your strengths, your talents, your gifts, your skills and unique assets, and your core values. You can actually design your inner architecture, instead of acquiring your sense of self by default. Play to your strengths, and then delegate things that aren’t your strong suit.
In order to be successful, you must play to your strengths. Then, delegate things that you are not strong at to others. You MUST partner with other people in order to get the best results.

Spirituality

Your spiritual environment includes spirituality and religion. Religion in this case meaning two or more people that share a belief. When you boil any religion in the world down to a very pure essence, it boils down to belief in a connection to a higher power, or what some might call belief in the interconnected nature of life.
Ask yourself if your spiritual environment makes you feel more or less connected. Are there artworks on your wall, or symbols, or images that remind you to connect to source, and to take a moment to feel that feeling of spiritual well-being?
It’s insane how much our technology is supposed to connect us, and instead how disconnected we wind up feeling, so it is very important to ensure that we we take this feeling of connection, this feeling of interconnection that is so essential to spirituality, and really prioritize that in some fashion in our environment. This can be done simply through an image, or some piece of artwork that brings connection to a higher power to mind. However you can decide to incorporate spiritual practices into your environment, no matter what you believe, this spiritual feeling of connection will really help you in the long run.

Nature

The next environment we’re going to look at is the environment of nature, so the environment, capital “E” environment. By this, I mean life, plants, animals, The Great Outdoors, geography, and  the seasons.

Yes, seasons can actually be an environment. I’m sure you already know summertime has a very different feeling and impact on you mentally and physically than winter. A great example of this would be something like seasonal affective disorder. You need light. You need UV light for your physical, and mental state, and general well-being.

A well-designed environment will give you flow. Well designed environments save you time, and energy, and resources. It is very important to note that you can change, influence, or leave environments, if they are expiring or not serving you. You can adapt your environment, or you can exchange your environment, whatever works for you. The key, of course, is to design your environments in such a way that it is inspiring, and pulls you forward, instead of holding you back.

It is possible to add, delete, or shift your environments. Little changes can give you big results.

Environments are very critical to your future success. Design your environments to be supportive.

Physical

The next environment I want to talk about is the physical environment. In the physical environment, you have your possessions, your home, it’s your office, it’s your car is, it’s your equipment, it’s your desk, it’s the little tchotchkes collecting dust on your shelf. Your physical environment is all the things around you, your possessions. Do the things in your environment encourage your efficiency and performance?

Clutter in the home creates clutter in the mind, and this is what I was working on yesterday. I was spending time clearing clutter out of my home, really cleaning the physical environment in such a way that it becomes a healthier, more supportive, and more inspiring environment.

If I could give you one piece of advice, I’d say start with the easiest thing. It doesn’t have to be cleaning out your whole house, or whatever the case may be. It could be cleaning one shelf, or a closet, or organizing a pile of shoes at the front door, or it could be washing your curtains. There’s probably something in your physical environment you’ve just been putting up with. All too often, we anchor to the past in our environment, instead of the future. As you go through the things in your home, ask yourself is your possessions anchor you to the past, or if they inspire you, and will help lead you to your best future.

Ask how can you get your physical environment to support what you want to see happen in your life. Create positive anchors in your physical environment to support your success. You can hang an inspiring quote on your wall, and just seeing that is going to put the message in your mind at a subconscious level, whatever that inspiration is leading you towards. In another way, the simple fact of having your home tidy and orderly is going to consciously increase the order and tidiness of your mind because we are a product of our environment and our physical environment is the most obvious environment of all. Remember, simple changes can make a huge difference.

To begin, just go around your home and document the distractions in your environment. You know, the things that you put up with that you don’t really like, but you tolerate them? Once you got a list together pick one thing , the easiest thing, and change it right now, today, in the next 120 seconds. Not tomorrow, not tonight, not later, just pick one thing, and make a change now.

Financial

Now your financial environment is obviously a very important environment. The financial environment deals with money, investments, stocks and bonds, insurance, real estate, and also the tools and people that support your wealth. If you have a financial team of some sort: an accountant, a bookkeeper, a mentor, then these people are part of your financial environment. If you have tools that help you to save, or invest, or manage your money, then these are also part of your financial environment.

You begin to see what I mean when I say everything is an environment. It’s not just places. It’s also things, and people, and ideas.

The financial environment deals with how you make, manage, and invest your money. Intentionally designed environments, and a strong team, will set you up for long-term success.

When you are winning in one environment, one area of your life, it makes it so much easier to win in another area of your life, and vice versa. For example, if I were to create videos, I would probably experience way more success than I experience just from blogging. I’m embarrassed about my physical appearance because I’m overweight, and my physical environment is not where I want it to be, so I feel self-conscious and less willing to risk appearing on video. By improving my physical environment, and losing some weight, I would be more comfortable doing videos, and this would contribute to my financial environment, and every other environment.

Because winning in one area makes it easier to win in another area and vice versa, losing in one area or, you know, being held back in one area, makes it easier for all the other areas to start dragging as well. Really ask yourself, “Am I I living by design, or by default?” and, “How can I design my environments to be more supportive to me?”

Network

The next environment I want to talk about is your network. Now, your network involves things like customers, the internet, your social networks, associations you belong to, clubs, groups, masterminds and workshops. These are all networks or groups that you belong to. You want to make sure that you choose your networks. Don’t just fall into a network, or join a network beacuse a friend’s in a network. You really want to make sure that the networks you join are inspiring.

Your net worth is related to your network.

You tend to be a conglomerate or an average of the people that you spend the most amount of time with. You should know that money has species recognition. Birds of a feather and all that. People who drive Ferraris hang out with people who drive Ferraris. People who spend their days moaning and complaining hang out with people that allow them to moan and complain. People who are  interested in building businesses hang out with other people that are entrepreneurial and interested in building businesses. Bottom Line: the people you associate with have a huge impact on you. Note the people that you spend time with.

When you upgrade your environments you really upgrade your life.

Relationships

The last environment I want to discuss is your relationships, and this includes your family, or friends, or colleagues, your neighbors, people you connect with daily like your your staff, your team, your co-workers, your mentors, your coaches, and even your pets. The reason we save this environment for last is because it is perhaps the hardest to change, at least at first because everyone in your environment has their own environment. They have their own physical environment, they have their own financial environment and so on.

People aren’t always wanting to change their own environments, so it can it can cause some tension as you’re changing your own environments. A lot of times people resist changing their environments because their environments are familiar. People might say they’re comfortable. They’re not comfortable. They’re just familiar in their environment.

What I would suggest is don’t focus here at first. The relationship environment is really going to be one of the last ones you change, unless there’s someone who is super-toxic, like a psychic vampire that just drains the life out of everyone. You really want to cut that garbage out of your life, and that’s understandable. However, I would say don’t focus on your relationships at first. Rather upgrade your other environments, and your relationships will change more naturally. Try to prioritize spending time with inspiring people.

Evolve Through New Environments

You must seek new environments if you want to evolve as a person. Environments must change to be a source of inspiration, or else you live in a state of drag.

All these environments are interconnected, as you are also interconnected with every other thing in this world. Our energies are all universal energies. “Out there” and at your core, are the same electrons, and protons, and neutrons, and quantum particles. These influence our lives, and everything around us. All things are interlinked. When you change something in one of your environments, the effects ripple through to all your other environments, and to all the environments around you, including the environments of other people.

This is how you can elevate the people around you, as well. By changing your own environments and really upgrading your own life, you inspire other people to follow your example. You never want to tell people how to live. You just want to lead by example, and inspire people, and let them make their own choice to change.

In Summary

So, in summary, what have we learned? Everything is an environment. We’ve learned that upgrading your environments makes it easier to create lasting personal change. This is because, as human beings, we are products of our environments. We are constantly interacting, influencing, and being influenced by, our environments.

To intentionally design your environments, take a quick inventory. You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Why do I have this in my environment? Is it inspiring, or expiring?
  2. How did I come to have this in my environment? Did I choose it, or did I just stumble onto it?
  3. Is this serving me in creating health, wealth, good relationships, and happiness?

Finally, start with one thing. Pick something small and simple to build momentum. You can start with anything and make a positive change. Doing this ensures that your environment pulls you forward and inspires you, instead of holding you back and expiring you.

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