Everything in your surrounding, including the a specific group of people, are influencing you in a tremendous way you’re probably not consciously aware of. If you want to “streamline” your life so that you can be more productive, feel better, have better health, nurture a better mindset, and essentially have a happier, more productive life, continue reading this short article. First I’ll go over why it happens, and then I’ll go over what you can do to have a more effective life.

Laws of Success. In the 1900s, there was a book written by a man who interviewed and studied over 500 of the world’s most successful people at that time to find out what set them apart from the rest of the world. It took him 20 years to write the book which he called “Think & Grow Rich”. The authors’ name was Napoleon Hill.

Law of Association. In that book, one of the premise to success was something he called the law of association. Essentially, we are the socio-economical average of the 5 closest people we surround ourselves with. You’ve known this all your life but it was just never said so scientifically. You knew that if you hung around 9 people who smoke, you’d become the 10th. You knew that if you hung around 9 people who drank, you’d become the 10th.

With that premise in mind, it’s important to begin to really recognize who you surround yourself with and begin to take inventory of 2 areas of your life: your surroundings & your associations.

Fundamentals Of Presuppositions. We naturally base and compare our thinking with other people. This could also be called a “Reference Group” – a group which you reference your thinking with.

Remember, language is a reflection of our neurology. In the same way that our body language is a reflection of how we feel (our emotions), language is an expression of our neurology and vice versa. We already have the syntax of language in our minds and it’s up to the existing neuro-connections in our minds that will present itself through our vocal communication.

Just the same as rich people think differently than poor people and healthy people think differently from unhealthy people… the key difference-maker is thinking.

Our thoughts and our language are based on our foundational beliefs. Anytime you hear someone’s communication and you agree with them either automatically or consciously, you, unconscious to your awareness, buy their beliefs through accepting the presuppositions of that statement. It becomes scary when the beliefs are fundamentally wrong. 

Changing Internal Mindsets Through External Surroundings. What you see everyday is constantly shaping your thinking. Haven’t you ever noticed, when your environment is clean and organized, you’re more motivated to accomplish things and when it’s cluttery, your mind also feels cluttered?

One advice I would give recently separated couples is to get away from their current environment (their apartment or any living area they’ve shared with their partner). Have you ever heard a song where upon hearing that song, your mind takes you all the way back to the moment you first heard it and you see the sights you saw, the feel the same feeling you felt, and maybe even heard the same sounds you’ve heard? This is a neurological process called anchoring and we anchor emotions with things (e.g. that specific couch will always remind you of that moment with that person, or that specific picture frame that will remind you of that special moment with that person, etc.)

If you’re trying to lose weight and you have cookies in your cupboard, anytime you open that cupboard, you’ll be reminded of how delicious those cookies are and will probably say, “Well, I’ll eat a couple pieces. It’ll do no harm.” On the other hand, if you craft your environment so that it’s conducive to your goal (get rid of that cookie), then it can almost be inevitable that you accomplish what you want.

Two Steps To A More Effective Life

Craft Your Surroundings.

Align your surroundings with your goal. Get rid of the clutter and things that you don’t need. Get rid of the old stuff you’ve forgotten about. Clean your environment. Have an organized plan or structure as to how you’ll prioritize your activities towards ultimately your goal. Include motivational items such as computer wallpapers that motivate you or portraits that inspire you.

Limited Association and Expanded Association. 

Take inventory of the closest people to you. Take those five special spots and make it so they all add value in your life whether they motivate you, inspire you, teach you, mentor you, love you unconditionally, support you, or help you. If you have negative, toxic people in those spots, get rid of them. Soon enough, you will attract better people into your life and in turn will make you happier, become more productive, and have a more effective life.

Featured photo credit: Doubling Your Productivity by iBSSR via farm9.staticflickr.com

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