Just How Important Is Your Environment?

PC: korendezvous

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” – Alexander Den Heijer

I have been making it a priority to meet people who are stepping out of their zones of comfort to make epic things happen. I have also been to a few startup events to get myself up to date with the startup scene. We have a few events lined up for the rest of February so it’s going to be a busy few weeks of being around new people in different environments.

The reason I’m sharing this is because it’s important to understand the significance of being in the right environment. I’ve made it a point to get myself around people who challenge, inspire, and drive me. One of my goals in 2017 is to form a “mastermind alliance” of exceptional people.

I figured the best way to do that is to actively seek them in places where they can be found. So, here are my prerequisites when choosing an environment to be a part of:

The Environment and Its People Have To:

Desire change and impact. Complacency kills growth. If the environment doesn’t desire change, then it’s probably not growth-oriented. Impact is also a big factor for me. I want to be surrounded by people who work for causes much bigger than themselves. I want them to be working towards a legacy by making a dent in the world.

Challenging. We’ve all heard of the saying, “Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.” If you’re not being challenged, then you’re not stepping out of your comfort zone. And if you’re not out of your comfort zone, you’re not going to reach your fullest potential.

Continual learning has to be embraced and encouraged. People who don’t grow tend to think they know everything. They’re so set in their ways and what they think they know. As a result, they just get left behind. You have to be open to better ways of doing things. You have to seek it all the time. Continuous learning ensures that your knowledge doesn’t get outdated.

There are people better than you. It’s been said that if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room. Being the smartest may have worked in school or even in certain jobs, but if you want to grow, you have to be able to look up to someone further ahead than you. This makes all the possibilities always visible to you, which will only further encourage you.

Supportive atmosphere. The support should be there when you succeed AND fail. We don’t learn as much in success as we do in failure. Failure tests our character. It shows us what we’re really made of. While going through that struggle, the environment you choose to be in should have people who understand the value of failing. At the same time, they should be able to motivate you and help pick you up and take another shot at it.

Solution-oriented. The people around you should be growing by focusing on solutions to problems. They should be able to take ownership of the problem rather than looking for someone to blame. When people aren’t worried about the problem, they can use their mental energy to focus on solutions.

Camaraderie. Have you guys ever been part of a team that feels exactly like family? Perhaps it feels even closer than that. Magic just happens within a team that supports each other no matter what. A team like that has the winning formula.

Knowing my standards has led me to travel outside of my comfort zone and make a quantum leap of change. I had to analyze the environment I was in. I took a long, hard look at myself to figure out if it’s really where I would like to dedicate my abilities and talents to. It turned out it wasn’t. So, I cut my losses and moved on. As a great friend and then-business partner of mine said, “You have a vision far bigger than what we can support. Be proud of that. I just want you to go all out in what you’re doing.”

So, anything you’d like to add?

Is there a standard you have that I didn’t mention? Please share in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to subscribe for more posts like this delivered to your inbox!

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