The most transformational decision in my life (and I’ve made many) was at 16 years old, when I decided to pack up what would fit into my 71 Plymouth and moved from Wisconsin to Miami. I had no job, no place to live, and knew not a soul there. But it fulfilled a dream to live in a tropical paradise, and I’ve never looked back.
The impact of your environment – where and how you live – has a monumental impact on the quality of life you will live. This leads us into part three of our series on the key philosophies that determine your worldview – and the results that worldview produces. More specifically, your philosophy about where you live, and environment you surround yourself with. In case you’re just jumping in, here’s the premise we’re operating on:
There are seven major, life-defining philosophies you develop about prosperity – these 7 philosophies determine your worldview – and this resulting worldview regulates the level of prosperity you will experience.
The 7 areas of life-determining philosophies are:
Imagine living and raising your family in Novosibirsk, Siberia versus Maui, Hawaii, versus Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. How big of a difference might the locale you reside produce in your mindset, security, economic opportunity, and overall quality of life?
I’m continually shocked how many millions of people simply live where they were born, without ever considering the possibility they could move somewhere else. Cleary there can be many reasons to stay, family and friends among them. And if you mindfully considered your options, chose to stay in your place of birth and are happy there, you are blessed. But the number of people who accepted this as a default setting is staggering. Equally tragic is the number of people who desire to live somewhere else, but are too fearful to try, or stay back because they’re being guilted into doing so by someone there.
The reason I selected these seven decision areas to discuss is because each of them have a monumental influence on your ability to manifest a prosperous life. And where you live, certainly falls into that category. There is another level as well…
And that is the “ecosystem” you spend your days in. Imagine your neighbor is using her leaf blower, you have CNN on in the background, the curtains are closed, and the smoke alarm is beeping a reminder that the batteries are low. Do you think that environment might impact you if you’re trying to write a poem about serenity? (Or even a poem about violence.)
When people enter my home, invariably they comment about how bright, clean, and minimalistic it is. And that’s for every home I’ve lived in for the last 20 years, because I mindfully create my living spaces that way. My work requires creativity, so I structure the environment around me to facilitate that. But I would do this even if I were a bricklayer.
What does your environment around you right now look, smell, feel, and sound like? Is it a cocoon of prosperity or a prison of limitation? Are you exposed to sunlight and fresh air? You’re depressing your immune system and your mental state if you’re not. Are the colors bright and cheerful, or dark and foreboding?
If the space around you is “busy” – ten pictures on every wall, piles of stuff on your desk, every table cluttered with objects, ever-present noise, clothes strewn around, etc. – this will create anxiety in your mental state. When you’re surrounded by space, quiet, and less stuff – this will create harmony in your mental state. Is there any art around you? What about fresh flowers? Show yourself that you value yourself, that you are worthy and deserving of a prosperous environment.
One more thing about your environment, one I bet you haven’t considered…
Your phone or tablet. You can be in a luxurious spa in Fiji, getting a foot while massage sipping mango juice – if you’re checking your goddamned phone for news alerts, what’s the point? Mindfully setting aside time occasionally to unplug from your devices and being alone with your thoughts is the second-best prosperity advice I can give you. The very best is to leave your devices charging in a separate room from where you sleep every night.
Take some time today to evaluate why you live where you live – and if you really want to be there. Take some additional time and evaluate the environment you’ve created around yourself, and what you can do to make it more conducive of prosperity. You may not have the money and means to relocate at the moment. But even if you’re living in a small studio apartment or prison cell – you can make your surroundings harmonious and inspirational. Begin with that.
Would love to see your thoughts below. Next post we’ll explore the fourth area of living philosophy: Leverage, and how you harness it to create more prosperity in your life.