Our behaviour is the most important thing. The way we interact with others, react to situations and go through our daily chores eventually makes us the person we are. Be it our work life or personal life, our surroundings shape our thoughts and our actions originate from our thoughts. Our actions / behaviour actually shape the way people think about us, or whether we succeed or fail. For example, having lived in both Bangalore and Delhi, I can say the weather does have a big effect on me. It is much easy to get angry / shout at one and all in the sultry hot delhi weather. Even if you are not angry, it is very easy to lose your temper on the slightest provocation. But if you are greeted by a cool breeze whenever you get out (as in Bangalore), you tend to become happy even if you were in a bad mood earlier. The point is, our surroundings, whether natural or chosen, tend to have an effect on our personality and our day to day behaviour.
I am listing 5 examples how we can choose to surround ourselves with different things and how can it bring out our best or worst –
1. Want to be creative, surround yourself with art – If you are in a job where you are required to come up with creative ideas or just want to improve your creativity, surround yourself with art. Keep in touch with what is happening in the art world, and look out for creative advertisements, paintings, or any other form of art. Slowly, you will start appreciating work of other creative people and get your mind working. You will desire to do something on the same lines, and this will get you started. And continuously following up on different forms of art can give you ideas which you can apply in your area of interest.
2. If you live near or visit places where you will find fast food restaurants or advertisements about fast food, you will end up craving for that burger or french fries. Burger and French Fries do taste good (though not healthy) so our mouth will start lickering and our subconscious mind will want us to have it. And if you are hungry at that time, the craving might get to you and you might end up eating fast food instead of doing what you should be. I am thinking of going to a MacDonald today as I am writing this piece, and I need to move on to the next point before I head to grab my fries. (Unfortunately, a MacD joint is just across the street where I live)
3. Expose yourself to metrics about your work or business or performance and you’ll work to improve them. Metrics, and depicting them by graphs and other forms of pictorial representation give us a sense of how we are doing and how we should be doing. If we keep track of such metrics, we will work on improving them. It is the same reason schools and colleges have marks or grades so that people know what to measure and how to improve on those metrics. Collecting metrics is a qualitative way of improving stuff that is otherwise difficult to measure, and hence easy to ignore. If you want to improve something, find a way to measure it and surround yourself with info about it and you will see yourself working to improve it.
4. If you see a lot of negative emotions in your daily life, you will tend to react to situations with a negative bend of mind. If you see people getting angry at each other, you might end up justifying their actions and find reasons to get angry yourself. If you fear something, then thinking about it or being in a vicinity which reminds you of your fear, you will tend up acting more reluctantly on matters you would have been confident otherwise. So if you tend to be around people experiencing negative emotions like frustation, worry, anger, disappointment, be aware that they can spread to you very easily.
5. If you ineract with people making smart decisions, you will also take interest in it and learn from them. You will slowly and surely be able to understand how to handle different situations and how to go about in your decision making process. Your thought process will start reflecting the people who you spend time with. You will understand why they took a certain decision and will try to learn from it.
Eventually, it is a choice of how we choose our surroundings. If you want a change in yourself, then just spend time with people / situations where you see that change. This holds true for both negative and positive thoughts.