“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our power to choose a response… lies our growth and our freedom” – Viktor Frankl
I could have used many quotes to begin today. “the average of the 5 people..” or “your vibe attracts your tribe” or even this written by my friend Rich Andoh: “Willpower is overrated. Habits are only sustainable if you can automate them.. The people who achieve the goals you want do not do so by willpower alone. In fact the willpower was used mainly to change their environment. The environment in turn facilitates this automation. If you are struggling.. it is not because you lack willpower, but you deplete your willpower in an environment that requires a constant manual override.”
The reason for the quote by Frankl is to, hopefully, show that the environment you surround yourself with is a choice.
Of course, there is a precursor to this choice; which is the self reflective part. To be able to truly understand your purpose, or find your meaning, or however you want to phrase it, takes time. This time is made up of reflection. This time is made up of critical evaluation. This time is yours.
Jordan Peterson describes this very well by likening life to a game of Quidditch (The game from Harry Potter for those that don’t know). He suggests that the key to winning the game of life in which we play is to play a game inside of the bigger picture. So, if we take life as the game of Quidditch, then what takes the role of chasing the Golden Snitch? Well, that part in the interest, the thing you find truly interesting. Chase that. “It will make you hard and durable. Something that shines light.”
I have been doing some thinking on this topic, and have come to realise the importance of culture within my life, and how grateful I am of it. The people who inspire me. The people who I aspire to be like. The people who I learn from, who make me laugh and test my values. Without these people I would be the same seed I was yesterday, and nobody wants to stay in yesterday. Grow.
I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled and learnt from some awesome individuals in the last 2 years. Each has had a profound effect on me, some more unexpected than others. A big thing I have continued to notice is how our deep preconceptions of people directly influence our opinions and interactions with new people.
Another interesting note, is the control we have over our environment, and how vast it truly is. When I think of environment, I usually think Trees, Birds, Mountains, Oceans. Which is relevant, but not everything within this context.
Social Media, close friends, old friends, work colleagues, bosses, family, your bedroom.. are all part of this crazy environment. This crazy space that dictates so much of our being. As usual, I don’t have so many answers, but thoughts and ideas that I like to note down.
I have many unanswered thoughts on this topic. However, one thing I have to question is the longevity of a intimate relationship if you do not have comfort within yourself beforehand. I see a relationship as something in which each person mutually inspires the other. I feel that if I have my own dreams, and passions, my partner has hers, then together we will inspire each other to reach them. Creating a bond stronger that physical attraction and Netflix and chill alone.. Of course this has another side, in which if her or my dream is in conflict with the current relationship, then somethings got to give! Whether that be to let go of the relationship or not is another matter with too many variables to guess. However, I believe if you truly love someone, sacrificing a physical bond is far more important than holding onto it and leaving a dream unfulfilled.
This is also completely relevant to interpersonal relations on a day to day basis. Your friends. The people you continually go back to, depend on. How are they pushing you or helping you to grow? If they are holding you down to a level that’s not where you want to be; be honest and move on. Loyalty is not just a physical obligation, shouldn’t it also mutually inspire?