Studies have shown that your peer group and family will greatly affect your lifestyle habits. This includes your expectations of: health, fitness, income and values. You’re more likely to be healthy, if you surround yourself with healthy people, and your income is likely to be within 10% of your 5 closest friends, etcetera.
Therefore, it’s important to select a peer group that is supportive of your goals and dreams. If you surround yourself with people who are negative, this will foster a disempowering mentality. Conversely, if you surround yourself with positive, motivated and ambitious people – then you are more likely to have those same traits.
Surround yourself with people who support you in your endeavors.
Our thoughts are influenced by everything we see, hear and experience. These stimuli include books, movies, music, newspapers, websites, people and events.
If you spend a week reading history books, then those books will influence how you perceive the world. They might create a mental filter which will transform a brick building into a revolutionary war landmark.
The ideas we feed our mind influence how we perceive the world. If you trash your mind with negative inputs, then you can expect to have a negative perception of the world. Conversely, if you feed your mind great ideas, you will then feel surrounded by great opportunities.
Negative inputs include television news and websites that terrorize you with the world’s problems. How many news stories are about scandals, murders, disasters, and corruption? After seeing those images how do you feel? Positive inputs may include scientific journals updating you on technological breakthroughs. After reading about progress made by mankind, how do you feel about the future?
Remove negative inputs from your life and welcome positive ones. This will help you develop a filter for seeing the opportunities that surround you.
Yin and Yang
The philosophy of yin and yang describes how opposite forces are interconnected in the universe. Without darkness(yin) there can be no light (yang), without cold there can be no heat, without good there can be no evil, etcetera. Opposites must exists to provide a point of reference and comparison.
With this in mind, I believe the greatest challenges represent the greatest opportunities. Those hardships which challenge mankind the most, represent the best opportunities for mankind to unite and come together.
When you are faced with a great challenge in life, think of the great opportunity presented. For example:
The United States economy is in a recession:
Yin: People are unemployed and struggling to put food on the table.
Yang: People now have time to spend with their families and are growing gardens in their yards.
Housing prices has fallen by 20%:
Yin: Families have lost their life savings in their biggest investment.
Yang: Properties are now affordable once again. Families look at their homes not as an investment, but as a place to raise a family.
Identify the great opportunities created by your great challenges.
- My country is the world; my countrymen are mankind – William Lloyd Garrison
The modern world brings us an incredible standard of living, and unprecedented freedom to live our dreams. Never before in the history of humanity have so many people lived so well and had so many opportunities.
I often think back to my ancestors from the 1800′s, and what their lives were like. They didn’t have running water or electricity, and they certainly didn’t have cell phones or the Internet. (If you want to know what life was like in the back in the 1800′s, I recommend watching Far and Away. ) As a result of those inventions and others, I now live better now than 17th century royalty. Kings and queens could not have possibly imagined the incredible inventions that I use on a daily basis.
The high standard of living I enjoy today, is from the hard work of millions of people who lived before me. Each generation shared its ideas with the next. Over time those ideas evolved into powerful inventions.These innovations offer new possibilities to mankind.
The fact that I have access to the Internet, means I have access to opportunities that did not exist one hundred years ago. I can master any topic, contact almost any person in the world, and pursue any idea I want. The possibilities are only limited by my creativity and my relentless drive.
Where do you accomplish your best thinking? What inspirational environments help produce the most effective results?
I have found libraries, college campuses, town halls, churches, parks and similar place are great for getting in the zone. When I’m in these environments I can conduct my clearest thinking and develop new creative approaches to accomplishing my goals.
Boston Public Library
I particularly enjoy libraries, because they offer incredible books and quiet spaces for working. Best of all they’re free, so everyone has the same opportunity to access incredible ideas. The Boston Public Library is one of my favorites. The main entryway has lion statues, beautiful marble, and ornate stone carvings. On the second floor there’s a spectacular great room; it measures 218 feet long, 42 feet wide and has 50 foot high ceilings. This enlightening environment provides an ideal setting for planning great goals.