The All Blacks national rugby team set out to change the landscape of world sport in 2004. Something wasn’t working. They were not winning and the players were not enjoying being involved in the national set up – they were not happy.
In 2017 they have won two consecutive World Cups and if you talk to any player in that setup they will openly admit it is the proudest moment of their lives putting on the All Blacks jersey.
Now, before you think I am recruiting for my local rugby team I promise you that is not my intention with this article. The above is an example of the unbelievable impact an environment can have on your output and happiness.
There are so many elements that you could manipulate in your lives to make your environment more suited to your happiness, but before you go and start changing absolutely everything in the attempt to find a winning solution…. stop and breathe.
In James Kerr’s book Legacy, where he uses the All Black’s rugby set up as a case study for success, the mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka explains brilliantly that it is not about adding more elements to your environment, it is about “…the art of learning what to spit out.”
With this in mind, I just want to start with just one area that this motto can apply to, and as a result have an unbelievable impact on your life.
People You Associate With
What could have a bigger impact on your mental focus than the people you spend your time with? In my opinion absolutely nothing. In Tim Ferris’ book The Four Hour Work Week, he stresses the importance of the company you keep:
“Do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
In order for you to make your highest form of contribution it is absolutely crucial that you surround yourself with individuals that are in line with the way you think. By doing this you will be surprised how much you can develop, learn and challenge yourself more and more each day.
On a personal level, I find there to be no other growth stimulus like surrounding myself with fantastic people. On meeting somebody nowadays I quickly make my mind up in a few minutes whether this is a relationship I wish to pursue… If individuals are negative, bitter and maligning it’s amazing how quickly those qualities come through, it’s incredible!
If other people want to live their lives in that way then that’s absolutely fine, it’s out of our control. However what we can control is whether or not their poor characteristics get access to you on a consistent basis. So, what you need to do is keep these people on the outside of your circle if you want to progress – be selfish about who you spend your time with. Look at it like a personal investment.
“It’s better to have a thousand enemies outside the tent than one inside the tent”
So what I want you to do / not to do this week:
- DO NOT go and break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend because you have had an argument this week. I know you may feel that this article currently identifies with you but in the majority of cases you probably should have just replaced the empty milk carton!
- Be selfish with your time. People can be an unbelievable source of growth. Don’t waste your time with people who make you feel like shit and pollute your mind with negativity.
- Subscribe to The Inspiration Space podcast on iTunes here to listen to my latest episodes. I have a couple of belters coming up….