Written by Kal Malik
Are we driven by what we think we think as a result of all of outside stimulus, or does our environment dictate more than we give it credit for?
One of Michelangelo’s most famous works is the statue of David, which can be seen in Florence. It was once asked of him, “How did you create such a beautiful and inspiring piece of art?” Michelangelo responded, “I didn’t, all I did was chip away the excess and from beneath that the statue emerged.”
That is the tale from the creator’s perspective. Let’s now speculate as to what story the unshaped piece of marble might have told.
If we could ask the marble, “How did you become such a wonderfully shaped work of art?” How would it respond?
“Well, I knew it was in me to become something magnificent, so I decided that my aim would be to become a fantastic statue. So I took the following steps. First of all I manoeuvred myself to get to the right environment ie Michelangelo’s workroom, second, I held my peace and didn’t run as he chipped away at pieces that were not needed. Both of these led to the amazing statue that I am now.”
Teresa the Unknown
Our environment is a key factor in determining who we become. Mother Teresa would have simply been called Teresa if the world (environment) had no suffering or if she had chosen not to place herself in such (Calcutta) an environment.
Often, if not most of the time, we do not speculate on what our environment is nor do we reflect on what kind of environment we want. The essence of this is either because we don’t know what we want out of life or that we don’t think that our environment plays a big part in obtaining what we want.
For the most part our environment, quite frankly just “is”
Those of us who are the architects of personal transformation understand that one of the keys to self-mastery is knowing the power that our environment plays in helping to shape our being.
An equation that is often put forward, in terms of personal income or wealth is, that if you take the average income of the five people that you spend the most time with, then that average will be quite close to your own personal income too. It’s not a bad equation and maybe it applies to you, but here is another one.
Take the average achievements, lifestyle or “challenges that have been overcome” by the five people you spend the most time with and these will equate to your own achievements, lifestyle or “conquered challenges”
Tony Robbins puts it like this, “our achievements are in direct proportion to the expectation of our peer groups”. Which to twist a cliché is, “if you lie down with millionaires, you will end up with millions too”
As I mentioned for most of us our environment just “is”. It came about due to other people being in proximity with us. Mostly this comes about due to work, study (for example university) or leisure activities (for example the gym or the local bar).
Take five people that you spend most of your time with and ask yourself, “How do I know that person?” i.e. where did you meet or become friends?
An alternative, empowering and deeply creative approach might be the same as what the piece of marble in the opening paragraphs suggested to us.
- Determine what you want.
- Put yourself in an environment that already has people with what you want in it.
- Do not be dissuaded by the bumps and bruises that you might get from this “new” environment.
That famous mystic Rumi asked, “If you are scared of the rub, how will you become polished?” It is an important question to ponder when leaping into a new environment. There will be uncomfortable stresses. Stress in this instance (and many others) is a sign of growth and growth is a sign of life.
Our problem with the new frontiers is that most of the time we are not the instigators (creators) of the change that brought us there, thus we feel aggrieved when such change is “put upon us” an example being if we are made redundant.
However if we become creators of our own goals and then move to an environment that already has people who have achieved similar goals then our own success is virtually guaranteed.
I am speaking a lot of goals and environment as if these are lofty things but they don’t have to be, indeed, we can use them in many small ways.
For example, if you can’t figure out some goals for yourself then why not:
q Attend motivational talks, seminars, workshops and courses
q Make friends with people who are or have achieved self-made goals
q Read books about the subject
q Talk to your friends about such topics
q Start your own little discussion groups
The last of these is a fascinating idea. If you can’t find an environment that meets your requirements then create one!
It was Shakespeare that said, “All the world is a stage and we are all actors upon it” to play a part that you choose to play you need to find the stage that supports it.
Kal Malik is a renowned author, teacher and speaker in the fields of personal/spiritual development, holistic therapies and para-psychology.
For the last twenty years, Kal has been a parapsychological investigator and explorer. As a result of his extensive study and experience in this domain Kal has taught parapsychology for the last 12 years and regularly speaks on related subjects.
Kal has written 10 books on holistic therapies and just finished, “Active Enlightenment – How to Create Miracles”.
Kal holds degrees in Information Technology, Psychology and a Masters in Artificial Intelligence. He is a qualified teacher, holistic therapist, a certified NLP practitioner, life coach, Reiki master and a practitioner of energy harmony. There is more information on his website Original Purity
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