Why do only a tiny fraction of people get life-changing results? There are too many reasons to count, but there is one substantial reason why most people fail to reach their goals, which I will highlight today.
As I've pondered this problem for 15 years, first when I had my CrossFit gym back in FL, and since then, as I've observed our society being generally physically and mentally unwell, I think I've identified the obstacle no one is talking about.
Scientists who study animals spend a lot of time on the species' environment. Yet humans think we are unique.
We believe our environments don't matter. We think we've mastered them. We think we're the exception, a higher form of life not privy to the same environmental pressures that cause species to go extinct and exert evolutionary forces over generations.
This is the great delusion of our age. We have data point after data point that shows us how sick and broken modern humans are.
Most humans today are brainwashed, ineffective, weak, and lacking in meaning. And the entire mainstream apparatus has become a literal Matrix perpetuating this sickness of body and mind.
Yet a few opt-out. A few get massive results. These results are so far in the other direction of the average person that one could call them a newly evolved human species.
These individuals take their minds and bodies into their own hands and mold them to their will. I could give you many feel-good, sound-good bullet points on how to do this. But they won't help you change anything.
All they will do is spike some dopamine for a moment before you're on to the next digital hit. That's because they would be tactics and not strategy. Strategy is taking a long view rooted in the first principles of biology and natural selection and how the environment dictates everything.
So how do you change your life? How do you get the desired results, whether that's weight loss, gain, muscle, happiness, money, career, or relationship?
Your environment shapes you for better or worse. For most, it's for the worst. For the few that take control of their environment, it's for the better.
Your environment is everything. Like a magnet, your environment propels you towards your goals or pulls you away from where you want to go.
Environment is the hardest thing to change, and that's why so few people do it. Those that do, whether subconsciously or consciously, achieve their goals.
It's as simple as that. It's all environment. Now for the sake of brevity, I will leave you with a list of environmental factors you can work on.
Think of these as the long game. You don't change your environment and wake up a different person tomorrow, but you can wake up on a different path. And that's everything.
Finally, before we get to the list, I must disclaim one thing...
You will not overcome your environment through sheer will. You will not overpower your environment without changing it. The only way to overcome your environment is to change it.
And for everything in your life you lack, your environment is the root answer to getting it.
Instead of adding something new to your environment, focus on removing what doesn't belong. Improvement through removement.
No new program, app, membership, or trainer will get you there if you don't first change what's around you. Here are the most critical aspects of your environment you can start changing today (These all require a much deeper treatment, so expect to do that on your own to find your path):
You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. You become the people around you, whether they are family, friends, partners, or coworkers. If you want to see your future, look around. If you want to see your obstacles, look around.
If people around you are overweight, you are probably overweight yourself, or at the very least, you've made your weight loss goals impossible to achieve. If people around you are bad with their money, you are too.
If you want to change anything about your life, you must identify and mitigate the people in your life that reinforce the traits that keep you from the change you want. There are many ways to do this.
Maybe you have to change certain subjects or refuse to engage in certain behaviors when they come up. Perhaps you need to spend less time with these individuals or modify your activities together (like eating out/drinking). Sometimes you need to adjust the power dynamic in a relationship and stop being a follower and instead turn into the leader.
The most straightforward answer is to cut these people from your life entirely, but that's not always the best answer. People are the most significant environmental influence and, thus, the hardest to change. So don't expect this to be easy or fast. But do expect it to be powerful for changing your future.
2. Fridge and Pantry
If you keep tasty, diet-sabotaging foods in the house, you will eat them. This is a fact.
Don't delude yourself into believing anything else. If you think you'll exercise "willpower," you won't. Willpower is a myth. There is only environment.
We have a small safe in Allison's closet where she keeps gluten-free cookies and dark chocolate. It's amazing. I should have done this years ago. I tell her how many I want, and she brings them to me, and that's all I eat.
Never again do I eat an entire box in one sitting or wake up in the middle of the night gorging on whatever tasty thing I can get my hands on. It's Perfect. (This is precisely what I mean by altering your environment to be conducive to your goals.)
Jobs are tricky because they feel out of your ability to control. But I bet you have more power than you realize.
Consider asking your boss for a new role or team. Stop eating lunch with the team if that's what everyone does.
Negotiate a partial work-from-home arrangement if that's possible for your job. There are many ways to control your work environment so it's better for you. It may not always be perfect, but it can always be better.
And if you hate your soul-sucking job, quit. Life is too short. Making money isn't the goal of life.
The goal of life is life. So whatever fairy tale you believe about needing your job, remember the Truth: it's a lie.
This is the easiest thing to change. You can stop consuming everything mainstream TODAY.
Don't watch the news. Block certain people and keywords.
Stop mindlessly scrolling social media. (Getting off social media entirely is a great option.) If you don't control what you let into your eyes and ears, you have given your sovereignty of mind to someone else—what a dangerous proposition.
Get a shower filter. Use a water filter. And never drink tap water.
Simple fix. Small changes like this take a little time, money, and planning, yet each brings you one step closer to optimizing your perfect environment.
Go outside and stay there as much as possible. Get a ton of sunlight.
Get your feet and hands dirty. Swim in the ocean.
More more more. Your natural habitat is all around you, yet you spend most of your life in a manmade cage.
Huh? Do you think it's a coincidence modern humans are as sick as they are?
Buy the purest Earth-grown ingredients you can get your hands on. Wild caught fish, grass-fed beef, fermented veggies, whole food supplements and minerals, and local produce.
Then cook your meals at home. (And make your drinks. Skip overpriced Starbucks.)
Eating at restaurants and letting corporations cook your food is a major environmental toxin. Both are keeping you from long-term health. So sharpen your knives and get in the kitchen.
Control and Choice
Finally, accept that everything in your life is choice. If you let others influence you, you deserve whatever you get because you choose that.
If you don't control your environment, someone else will. The problem is they do not care about your goals. Letting people like this dictate your life is a dangerous proposition.
So you only have one choice: to take control of your environment or leave it up to chance. Choose wisely.