Take charge of your environment

The impact of our environment on our behavior is too significant to be ignored1. And yet, when laying out plans to achieve our goals, so many times we forget about it.

Marshall Goldsmith writes in Triggers. Creating Behavior That Lasts:

If there is one “disease” that I’m trying to cure (…), it revolves around our total misapprehension of our environment. We think we are in sync with our environment, but actually it’s at war with us. We think we control our environment but in fact it controls us. We think our external environment is conspiring in our favor—that is, helping us—when actually it is taxing and draining us. It is not interested in what it can give us. It’s only interested in what it can take from us.


The environment that I’m most concerned with is actually smaller, more particular than that. It’s situational, and it’s a hyperactive shape-shifter. Every time we enter a new situation, with its mutating who-what-when-where-and-why specifics, we are surrendering ourselves to a new environment—and putting our goals, our plans, our behavioral integrity at risk. It’s a simple dynamic: a changing environment changes us.

Taking hold of our environment is a serious and effective advantage.

  1. Marshall Goldsmith, Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts ↩︎

habits change environment Marshall Goldsmith

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