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Be careful, for the environment you choose will shape you.

Our friend Winston Churchill declares that ‘we shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us’.

It’s true.

Here’s why.

We know from research that our environment shapes us from the time we are born. Consequently, in many ways, it shapes our personality.

However, our personality is not our identity. Our personality is a combination of characteristics, patterns or qualities that we have learned and obtained from our social environment.

Rewrite the chemistry of your body

Dr Lipton, a cellular biologist and leading voice in the field of epigenetics, shows that our environment has a huge impact on our personality.

Therefore, our thoughts, feelings and, ultimately, our environment can affect the destiny of 50 trillion plus cells that make us whole. Moreover, he brings to light that our +50 trillion cells function very much like a community.

Lipton explains that every cell has a task and is affected in one way or another by everyone else. Additionally, even though we’ve been indoctrinated with the theory of survival of the fittest, legitimate health and success is really about cooperation.

There’s no function that you can do as a whole human being that your individual cells can’t do as well. Your cells have reproductive, digestive, respiratory, eliminatory functions, and the list goes on.

Research in epigenetics shows that it’s not necessarily our DNA that establishes our genetic expression. The cellular level is more determined by the environments we are in and the choices we make.

Our cells really are sentient entities that are trying to work together for our good. Unfortunately, individuals are often unintentional in terms of shaping their environment.

Nevertheless, this creates the possibility for radical change.

The multitude of roles we play

If you were to sit down right now and do a self-audit on what roles you play and in what environments, it would give you insight into how your surroundings have modelled your personality.

For example, when you are at work, what kind of personality do you portray in comparison to the personality at home? What about when you’re with friends?

You can see that depending on your environment, your personality is shaped, but it’s not who you are.

Most of us that are unintentional just fall into these roles and then believe they are our intrinsic personality, when it’s really just a role that we are playing out.

If you don’t create and control your environment, your environment controls you.

Creating a successful environment

Your environment is the world outside of you.

Unless you make changes out there, you will never make any permanent changes inside of you.

Now, the flipside is that if you want to be successful… you need to change your external environment. You can only spend so much time envisioning, setting goals, creating vision boards, etc.

The big change is when you set up your surroundings.

For instance, you can declutter cupboards, change friends, change jobs, change houses and even change relationships. At the end of the day, if you are not happy with where you are, and where you are is not going to take you where you want to be, then something is holding you back.

Yes, it can be you.

Or it can be your environment.

Remember, you are the average of the five people you hang out with.

To read the second part of this two-part series, click here.