Control Environment for Success

By Bill Hodges

©2003 Hodges Seminars International

Iím reasonably sure that cavemen never argued about whether man was a product of his environment or his heredity, but I would guess the argument started shortly thereafter. Is it his gene pool that makes a certain man successful or is it the environment that surrounds him? If it is the first, there is little we can do to improve our lot in life, since the die was cast with our forefathers and mothers. However, if man is a product of his environment, it would be in his best interest to surround himself with positive influences.

What does your world contain? Look around you. Who are your friends? Would you classify them as upbeat and forward thinking? Do they support you in your endeavors and urge you to greater heights? One positive friend is a treasure beyond compare. Or are they, as Crystal Cathedral pastor Bob Schuller describes some people he has met, "nagging nabobs of negativity"? The people you surround yourself with are a major part of your environmental success system. If these people weigh on you like a lead weight, cut the lines that hold you to them and soar with those who offer you the sky. They may not be able to do all that they promise, but they will help you see the possibility of flight.

What else does your world contain? What books are you reading? What television programs are you watching? To what music are you listening? Do the books add to your store of useful knowledge? Even a book of well-written fiction can do that. Do these books lift your spirit and make you feel happy and positive about life in general? Are any of your books geared to information that will advance your status in your chosen career field? The same questions can be asked of your television viewing habits. There is a major difference in impact on your environment when you watch a mind expanding program like Jeopardy versus when you watch Jerry Springer capitalize on other peopleís misery.

Music may be the most insidious of all environmental factors. Within some of the best beats are housed some of the darkest messages. When I mention this to my friends, they always reply that they donít listen to the words so the negative message doesnít affect them. Wrong! The unconscious mind is recording those words just as surely as if it were a fast-food commercial, and just as surely, you can bet it will play them back to you when you least expect or want it to. Think to yourself, would you rather start the day absentmindedly humming the words to "Yesterday" which says in part, "Iím not half the man I used to be," or the words from the great Oak Ridge Boysí hit, "Everyday" which tells us: "Everyday, I want to shake somebodyís hand. Everyday, I want make somebody know that they canÖto take a kind word into the street and share it with everybody I meet." What great advice. I wouldnít mind my subconscious reminding me of words like that every morning.

You cannot change your heredity, but with effort, you can control your environment. If you take charge of your life, you will get a charge out of life.

Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.

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