Willpower doesn’t work.
People lose the battle against willpower every day. It could be the battle to quit smoking, to quit eating fast food or to finally make exercise a consistent habit.
But what would happen if you got rid of willpower entirely? How much more committed would you be to the changes you want to make?
As the #1 personal development writer on Medium and author of the book Willpower Doesn’t Work said, “You are who you are because of your environment. Want to change? Then change your environment, stop the willpower madness already.”
You might have noticed the effect of your environment to an extent already. When your house is a mess your life might feel more chaotic or stressful as well. But when your environment is clean and clutter-free you feel more productive, motivated, and driven to succeed.
The same goes for the people you spend your time with. If you spend time with optimistic and positive people, your energy levels tend to increase. But if you are surrounded by negative, pessimistic or unmotivated people, your energy and motivation are drained. This is when your willpower can’t be trusted.
Your environment also has a huge effect on your subconscious mind and the signals you are constantly sending it. After reading Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work and Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles I completely changed my environment in 2018.
The most effective, driven, and productive months of my life. Here’s why your environment shapes who you are and three ways you can change it for more clarity and ultimately, productivity.
Your external environment has a dramatic impact on how you experience life on a daily basis. If your environment is not helping you, then it is probably hurting you. Luckily, you can change your environment much easier than you probably think.
By shaping your environment directly, you will be shaping your thoughts and behaviors indirectly. You can create conditions that allow for the desired behaviors which are not optional in common conditions.
For example, if you’re trying to lose weight don’t buy the food that is your downfall. Don’t even have it in the house. Or if you’re trying to create a morning routine of working out, make it to where you basically fall into your gym clothes.
Create your optimal environment for success by reshaping it with these three tricks I’ve used:
1. Evaluate your inner circle
As I’m sure you’ve read or heard, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Not just your attitude but your income, motivation, and nearly every other area of your life.
Ask yourself whether your friends are helping or hurting your success.
If you spend time consistently with friends that are dragging you down or living a life you don’t want, you have to be willing to change.
Your friends should remind of you more of your future and less of your past. If you want more happiness, motivation, and drive, surround yourself with these 6 types of people. If not, why are you nurturing toxic relationships?
Instead, focus on the friends who add value to your life. Find ones who are positive and supportive of your dreams. When you surround yourself with new people your thoughts, feelings, and ambitions will change as well.
Find people doing what you want to do
As Gary Vee said, “If you know exactly what you want to be you need to spend as much time with people that are that already.”
This could mean reaching out to mentors, emailing people you admire online or attending networking events. Yes, it will be out of your comfort zone. But if you really want to change your environment you need the right people in your life. While it may feel uncomfortable, these uncomfortable actions can lead to exponential growth.
Clutter is weighing you down, physically and mentally.
Decluttering your car, house and desk will help you declutter your brain as well. To have more clarity, you need to create an environment that is calm, relaxing, and stress-free. If you’re always flustered, late, or missing things at work, chances are the messiness is reflected in your environment too.
If you want more of anything in your life you need to make room for it. Physically as well as psychologically.
Schedule a “completion weekend” and take care of all the things that are bugging you and taking up unnecessary space in your mind. It could be a dirty car, piles of laundry, a broken hinge on a door or cleaning your desktop. Sure, these tasks may seem small and “not that important” but physiologically, they are holding you back.
3. Use a vision board
The last way to reshape your environment is to create a vision board that is a constant reminder of what you are trying to achieve. Vision boards are extremely powerful tools that can help manifest your dreams into reality.
By creating one and looking at it on a daily basis, you will constantly be reminded of what you are trying to achieve. It’s no surprise that some of the most successful people in the world like Oprah, Jack Canfield, and Tony Robbins have used them to achieve massive success.
Create a success wall
Vision boards are great for your future but don’t forget to remind yourself of all you have already achieved. I recommend creating a success wall.
On my wall, I have pictures of successful people I’ve met, buying my first home, playing Pebble Beach golf club, and other memorable life events. Put up pictures from amazing vacations, your first dollar earned at your business or awards you have won at work.