At some level, everyone wants a better & more optimized life. Yet, it is so easy to get lost in the hustle & bustle. Many of us find ourselves just trying to survive the work-week (traditional or entrepreneurial). I know this has often been the case for me.
Instead of overly worrying about my life improvement process I focus on a simple system that consistently moves me in the direction of a life that is continuously improving.
My life optimization system is composed of three related principles:
- You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
- You are a product of your environment.
- You are what you consume.
1. You Are The Average Of The 5 People You Spend The Most Time With
This is a quote by Jim Rohn, a pioneer in the field of personal development. Tony Robbins got his start working under him as well.
They've done studies that show our fitness level & net worth is highly correlated to those we spend the most time with. If we take a deep look at our own life we will realize that this principle applies to just about every area of our life. Regular weekly activities are highly informed by those we spend the most time with. We tend to pick up all sorts of behaviors of those we spend time with. Ultimately, good & bad habits are built & reinforced by those we are around.
This is awesome & scary at the same time.
How many of the life-enhancing activities & habits that you regularly participate in are related to those you hang out with often?
On the flip side, how many of the destructive things you do are accepted & encouraged by the people you spend the most time with?
Seriously, take a few minutes and deeply think about this.
2. You Are A Product Of Your Environment
Again, massive research has been done on this. Our environments are a huge influence on our product of being.
Different environments attract & produce different types of people. The environments in which we spend the most time almost always include the people that we actually spend the most time with (work, home, community, extracurricular activities, etc).
Our environments also dictate our activity & behavior. People who spend time at the gym tend to exercise, those who attend church pray, those who go to the library read, those who go to the bar drink, so on & so forth.
Take a moment and think about what kind of behavior your regular environments encourage.
3. You Are What You Consume
This one is really powerful. And can be really disturbing when we look at it in a detailed manner.
Our consumption includes food & information. This includes all types of media--books, blogs, news, television, movies, music, auditory programs, video games, etc. Furthermore, information is picked up through conversations, environments & all types of experiences.
At some level, everything we ingest into our body and mind is programming us for better or worse. This holds true no matter which of our physical senses it enters into our domain of existence. Taste, touch, sight, sound & smell are all viable access points for consumption programming.
Think about this. What are you consuming on a regular basis?
Now that we've taken a moment to analyze these three related fundamentals let's look at...
How To Implement These Life Optimization Principles
- Self-checking: Regularly ask yourself how you are doing in each area.
- Are the people I am spending the most time with calling forth the highest best version of myself?
- Do the places I spend the most time encourage continuous growth & improvement?
- Does the food & information I consume naturally lead me to grow in positive ways or am I slowly poisoning my body & mind?
- Work: Optimize your income generating field of endeavor.
- Typically we spend the most time with the people we work with. We spend the largest majority of our time in our work environment. And we consume a majority of our weekly intake of food & information at and around work.
- People: Pick your life-partner & friends wisely.
- Tons of ultra-successful people credit their good fortune to picking an amazing significant other.
- Same goes for friends. Successful, smart, happy, inspired & growth-minded people choose to spend time with people who facilitate these qualities naturally.
- Communities, Environments, Personal Interests & Hobbies: Choose groups, people, places & activities that foster growth.
- Humans are built for connection & community. A lot of what we think, say & do come from the communities, personal interests & hobbies we are involved in (both online & in real life).
How To Hack The System
What if you're reading this and you realize that the 5 people you spend the most time with are showing a strong indication of actually being detrimental to your personal growth, health & fitness, personal finances, etc? In other words, what if the people you spend the most time with are ensuring a shitty life?!
Or what if after pondering these related principles you realize that your work environment & other environments you regularly frequent are contributing to a path to nowhere? Or worse, are leading to a steady decline?!
And what if your consumption (food, information, & otherwise) is killing your life?!
Here are a few ways to quickly hack the system:
Focus on what you are consuming. The easiest hack for this system is to immediately up the quality of content you are ingesting on a regular basis. It is a crucial step you can take & the first key to transforming your life at any time.
When you are commuting to & from work what are you doing? Are you listening to the fear-inducing news? Or maybe radio & music that is telling you to spend money to achieve happiness, buy more shit, do more drugs, sleep around, etc?
Instead of poisoning your mind you can listen to life-empowering audiobooks, audio programs & podcasts during your work commute.
This same thought-thread can be applied to all types of commutes and mindless activities where you can add in auditory learning/programming without negatively affecting your performance. This includes things like chores (cleaning, laundry, yard work, going to the grocery store, etc) and certain types of repetitive activities & exercise where you don't require music for motivation or have to keep track of performance metrics (reps, sets, times, etc).
During your free time you should definitely be reading books & blogs that empower & transform your life. Additionally, it pays to think this through with your viewing habits. What you regularly view informs your programming just as much as what you read & listen to. TV, movies, internet videos, public performances, etc.
Wise-minds actively curate their social media feeds so the content actually enhances their life. [here are my socials in case you need some instant reprogramming: Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter]
Even the experiences we consume program us.
Seriously! Think hard about what you are putting into your consciousness at all times.