Don’t Let Your Environment Make Decisions For You
“I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.” –Frank Costello
Listening to a radio program recently I was reminded of this quote from “The Departed”. While I love this movie, it had been a long time since I had seen it last, so suffice to say I had forgotten about it some. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the movie is about two men in the Boston police force. One is an informant for the mob imbedded within the Boston police force. The other is the opposite, an undercover police officer giving information on the mob. It is a great movie but no need to go into many more specifics than that in terms of the plot.
The quote above comes from the character Frank Costello (played by Jack Nicholson). He is essentially supposed to be an homage to Whitey Bulger. Obviously when talking about individuals to model yourself after, Bulger is not someone I would suggest. However, I love the way this quote was written. It is far too easy to become a product of your environment. If you just let your environment make your decisions for you, then what would that require of you? To be constantly busy, eat junk, and not have time to improve yourself. We are constantly bombarded by things we need to get done, by quick easy nutrition-less foods that you can get on the run, and worrying about everyone but yourself.
That’s all well and good until you look in the mirror one day and say, “Woah…who is that?”. You have no energy, you are out of shape, you just feel crappy, but you know the next 12 hours are dedicated to everyone but yourself. You think, “Well, this is just the way it has to be”. Guess what? No, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Of course there are going to be practices, or meetings, or other things that you can’t change. I am not so naïve as to think my situation and your situation are identical. I fully realize that as parents and business owners and the like, your lives are more hectic and more rigid than mine. I fully realize and understand that, however, this is also the reason that it is even more dependent on YOU! You are the one that can make the change and make your environment a product of who/what you want to be. If you can’t have junk in the house without eating it, it’s as simple as DON’T BUY IT. Right there you are affecting your environment. If there is always cake in the break room and you just can’t not eat it, DON’T GO TO THE BREAK ROOM. If you are running for fast food 3 times a day, stop taking the time to do so, get your work done, and use that free time (and extra money saved on gas) to make real food.
There are a thousand other possibilities to change your environment to suit the person you want to be/need to be. Just accepting that you are “too busy” is never going to get you anywhere. You are letting yourself become a victim of your environment. Make your environment one that works for you, instead of against you.
Make it Happen!