If You Want To Change Your Life, Change Your Environment

There's a reason why a tree's leaves change color in fall—it's a visual signal that it's adapting to its surroundings, prepping for what's ahead.

Imagine if you had the same degree of connectedness to your own career climate? What corrections would you consciously make to optimize your growth and prepare for a successful future?

It starts with awareness and acceptance of a simple truth: Your environment always wins.

Your environment, which includes your friends, colleagues, location, habits and lifestyle, impacts you far more—for better or for worse—than you realize. You can’t make a significant, lasting change without altering some elements of your environment. 

Ask yourself these two questions to better assess if your environment is helping you grow or holding you back:

Who Is In My Top Five?

Jim Rohn, an early mentor to Tony Robbins, famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend time with.”

Rohn’s assertion was rooted in the law of averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes, and suggests that the five people you’re around the most shape you.

Said another way, when you’re trying to grow into the person you hope to be, it’s helpful to surround yourself with people who demonstrate those qualities you aspire to achieve. These people might include mentors from whom you can learn new skills, colleagues who cheer you on when you get discouraged, or friends who hold you accountable to your goals. Having in your "top five" positive, encouraging people who lift you up and support your dreams will dramatically improve your chances for success.

Conversely, if your environment contains negative people threatened by your choices, you’ll have a much harder time trying to make — let alone maintain—significant change.

Do the people around you support your destiny and not just your history?  If not, it might be time to widen your circle and proactively seek new energy from like-minded souls.

Where Do I Hang Out And What Do I Do While There?

The same principle applies to all aspects of your environment; it’s not just the who, but also the what, that you surround yourself with that can either propel you forward…or hold you back.


Where are the top five places where you spend your time? For most, this includes an office and home base, as well as additional locales: commuting in your car or on the train; the gym or a bar; networking events or your sofa; walking through a park or surfing the internet.

No place is inherently good or bad, but you should pay attention to how you feel while you're within those spots, and note if that feeling changes when you leave them. Are you motivated or drained? If it's the latter, and you want to make progress, something's gotta give; it's time to make a change.

Consider, too, your habits and lifestyle: are you intentionally placing yourself in situations and locations that spark growth? Or have you fallen (perhaps unconsciously, out of fear) into a stagnant comfort zone of the familiar but uninspiring?

Real growth happens when we understand whom and what best supports what we want, and then align ourselves with those people and places that do.

To change your environment, join our Who Am I program.