“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Environment matters – the people you spend time with, the music you listen to, the shows you watch and the things you read all have a huge impact on who you are. Here’s a story that shows the powerful impact of your environment.
Last summer we became pool owners when we bought our new home. We were excited to get to play in it, but we knew absolutely nothing about maintaining it. The ease of taking care of the pool surprised us, but we were unfortunately also surprised at the cost of heating it. I won’t swim if I am at all chilly, so we kept the pool around 85 degrees at the beginning of the summer. After a few months of gas bills, though, Bret decided that we didn’t need it that hot. 🙁 Even though the outside temperatures were hot, the water still cooled down every night, requiring the heater to run often. The water was also evaporating, requiring us to add water every few days. The gas and water bills were enormous.
This summer, we tried a new approach. We bought a solar blanket. Product manufacturers promise water temperature increases of 10-15 degrees and drastic reductions of water evaporation. We weren’t sure if those promises would come true, but it was worth a try. We ran the heater right after the pool was opened, but it hasn’t run since then – and the pool averages 90 degrees 🙂 We also haven’t had to add water due to evaporation. The solar blanket has turned out to be a great investment.
But the purpose of this blog is not to endorse a pool solar blanket (although I do highly recommend one). The interesting thing for me is the only change that we made was the environment. Without the cover, our pool water cooled down every night and evaporated every day. By changing the environment, the water has maintained a consistent temperature and the water hasn’t evaporated.
The same is true with us – our environment has a great impact on us.
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. (I Corinthians 15:33)
Does your environment help you live the life you want, or does it hinder your success? If you want to eat healthy and loose weight but are regularly going out to dinner with people who are ordering french fries and dessert, it will be much harder to stick to your eating plan. If you want to follow Biblical principles but are watching television shows that don’t match your standards, it will be hard for your standards not to be affected. If you want to achieve business success, but are spending your time around people who always complain and blame others for their problems, it will be hard for you to stay motivated to reach your goals. I’m not saying that it will be impossible, but just like our pool without the cover, it will take a lot more energy and work to stay where you want to be. Choosing an environment that encourages your personal growth will make it easier to achieve those goals.
What do you think? How have your choices about your environment affected you? Are there any changes that you know you need to make, but you have been struggling to actually do? Let’s talk about it below: