Your skin, the biggest organ you have, encapsulates and protects your vital organs, muscles, vessels, and bones. Your environment does something similar. It encapsulates and shapes you.
If you have to go out in a snowstorm, you’re likely motivated to cover your skin with heavy layers of clothing because of the environment. Yet that same motivation doesn’t exist in the summer heat.
So how does environment impact your inner landscape, the thoughts and feelings you have about yourself and about others? The actions you do and don’t take? The people you do and don’t love?
Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. We tend to believe our habits are a product of our motivation, talent, and effort. Certainly, these qualities matter. But the surprising thing is, especially over a long time period, your personal characteristics tend to get overpowered by your environment.
Environment silently shapes the stories you tell about yourself and about those around you, which in turn shapes your habits, desires, and responses. Accepting unhealthy or untrue stories results in living a life of quiet desperation. Therefore creating a new environment or redesigning your existing environment helps improve habits and rewrite your stories.
James Clear offers three suggestions:
Automate good decisions.
Get in the flow.
Subtract the negative influences.
If you find that your motivation remains low or doesn’t stick around long enough to get you to the success you want, read the Power of Environment then test out a small environmental redesign.