The Environment of Growth

The Environment of Growth

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” – Mark Ambrose

It’s been about a year now since I joined a gym. Not from a desire to become a body builder; rather, to regain some of the muscle mass we all lose as we age. Preventative maintenance of sorts.

I’d never been in a gym environment before. Certainly, I had heard of the gym being a place full of performance enhancing substances and people looking to hook up with each other. That’s not something I had any interest in, nor have I seen any evidence of either.

Mostly the gym is full of individuals who pretty much keep to themselves, there to take care of their own fitness goals and then they just leave.

I have had plenty of false starts attempting to gym at home. Weights, dumbbells, exercise bike, treadmill. For some reason, though, I never was able to stick with my home routine. I’d dabble, watch the DVD’s I bought on how to transform myself in 90 days, yet I never quite got transformed. I never stuck with it long enough for that to happen.

I guess the living room wasn’t such a great environment.

As I’ve observed the gym life for the past year, what I’ve seen is a great many of people just trying to get better. Better at their physical conditioning, whatever their individual goals may be.

Me? I’m there taking care of me.

And the environment has been a key component in me taking care of me.

Fitness doesn’t happen by itself. It takes a great deal of work, consistency, and commitment. In the gym, you can easily see those who’ve made the commitment. An environment of committed growth is quite infectious. The energy is different. It collectively breeds more growth. That’s what I’ve found at the gym. No one is judging, they’re busy doing. Big bodies, small bodies, young bodies, and old bodies. Everyone silently goes about their business of working toward their own personal targets, surrounded by others driven to do the same.

All of our environments influence us. The productive ones as well as the stagnant ones. This is true for friendships and relationships as well. Our circle matters. Our community matters. Seldom will we ever outperform the collective expectations of our circle or community. Surrounding yourself with others who share a common goal, outcome, or vision greatly increases the probability that you’ll hit your own goal, outcome or vision.

If you want to grow, place yourself in an environment populated with people who are actually growing, who are doing the work, who are actually in a position to support your growth, who actively encourage your growth.

Growth isn’t always easy, especially when surrounded by those driven by, well, nothing.

Does your environment support who it is you desire to be?

Perhaps it’s time to find a better circle?

Photo by Meghan Holmes on Unsplash

Losing My Yoga Virginity

Losing My Yoga Virginity

Sensing I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, she invited me to move my yoga mat closer to hers…

I don’t recall the names of the positions or poses. I do remember diving into something I knew nothing about and doing it anyway. Trusting and allowing, even after the yoga instructor repositioned me right in front of the class so I would be better able to follow along with her instructions.

Yoga!

How did I find myself in this situation? I actually took a day for me to do something for me. A self care kind of day. Taking time off for me isn’t something I can often do. Maybe if I was a better organized person or if I wasn’t so good at making excuses, maybe then I would have found the time to do something like this sooner.

My day was spent at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health which on the surface doesn’t Continue reading “Losing My Yoga Virginity”

Tomorrow May Be The Worst Thing To Ever Happen To You

Tomorrow May Be The Worst Thing To Ever Happen To You

If there was an award given for the thing most likely holding you back, the winner would be Tomorrow.

Tomorrow takes the pressure off of Today. Especially when it comes to commitments. Think of New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and to drop a few pounds. Since those resolutions don’t start until the first day of January, we have no problem pigging out throughout the holiday season. But it’s OK, we rationalize, because we’ve committed to making a change.

Tomorrow is perfectly two-faced.

I’ve had a great deal of experience dealing with starting tomorrow. And most of the time I never did, because half way through today I realized I could start again tomorrow. And with that Continue reading “Tomorrow May Be The Worst Thing To Ever Happen To You”

The Perfect Gift: 3%

Looking for the ultimate gift this holiday season?

Give yourself 3%.

I just purchased my all-new 2010 calendar. Just waiting for December to end and up on the wall she goes.

It was about this time last year that I purchased my all-new 2009 calendar, waiting for 2008 to run its remaining course. In some ways 2009 was a breakout kind of year. Certain goals, such as starting this blog, transitioned from concept into reality. LivingHalfFull.com has been read in 49 US states (hello W. Virginia?) and in 59 countries around the world. As much as I look back upon the successes of 2009, in other parts of my life, the only thing that changed was my age.

All I have gotten is older.

A STINGING REALIZATION This past year’s 365 days presented themselves to me as opportunities for growth in so many areas of my life. Yet in many areas of my life all I am is just another year older. Years, like life, can easily just slip away, one innocently wasted unfocused moment after another. I’ve incorporated the “I’m just too busy” mantra into my life for years. I’m really quite good at it. But of the 8,760 hours we have in a year, couldn’t I have found even a little time to work on areas of my life I’d like to improve upon?

Continue reading “The Perfect Gift: 3%”