Why does Warren Buffet live in the same house he bought in 1958, despite his wealth? Why did Mark Zuckerberg buy all the houses around his property? Why did Bill Gates build himself the uber- home? Why did Richard Branson buy an island?
Your environment is decisive on the decisions you make. The better your environment is, the more different and more detached your decisions will be.
“Better” means close to your mind’s picture about the desired environment, to how you imagine it should be. Should, not could.
When your environment is far from ideal you will make safe decisions, safer decisions and very, very safe decisions.
When your environment is closer to the ideal you will make far more risky decisions.
The key to understand this process is the fact that your brain is one mean prediction machine.
The state of your environment is more predictable the closer it is to your imagined state. You see, when you desire something you are actually optimizing the thing for easier predictability, and rationalize the optimum as desire.
The closer the environment is to your desired state, the safer you feel overall to make high risk decisions.
We tend to not be aware of this preset in our minds.
When one asks you:
what do you want (to do, to buy, to eat, to have etc)?
… it is important that you stop and, while keeping in your short term memory the subject of the question, notice your environment.
If you are cozy but stranger to the setting, if you are comfy but there is a weird asymmetry that keeps nagging you, if you are fitting in but it doesn’t feel like the in fits the out, the problem is you are trying to emulate your desired environment in strange and wrong settings.
This will lead to weak and soft answers to the question.
Environment, through perception, triggers senses, and from experiencing the sense a sensation is created. Sensations trigger sentiments. Sentiments are how we experience our own creativity. Decisions are riskier the more creative we are. That is why, the more predictable the environment, the better we’re able to sense it, and then all the predictable sensorial experience will trigger deeper sentiments, which will in turn influence our decision making process.
Because of this relationship, between sentiments and sensations, it is very important that you strive to make a predictable environment, which, in easier terms, means building the place you like being in.
If you are one that stays late at the office for no reason, you might wonder what is it that you don’t like about your home, and change that.
If you are one that rarely stays in one place, take special attention on what you rent, what you will do in the new place depends heavily on that.
If you are one that is in the progress of wrapping up a new stable environment, aka home, don’t take decisions now, let them wait until you’re at the end of your project.
How the immediate world appears and is sensed makes a huge difference in the risk you are willing to assume.
Still with me?
If you wonder what is wrong with low risk decisions the answer is: limited time.
Increased risk does not mean recklessness. By that I mean, when you make a high risk decision you will still do your best to assess input and output. If you ignore input you are not deciding, you are taking a leap of faith. If you ignore output, you are probably depressed, and should look into that first. A decision minds both the input and the output and increased risk is a matter of self expression and direct contact with life.
The more stable and predictable the environment, the more inclined you are at taking big risk decisions.
Ever wonder why men in idyllic marriages, raising healthy kids, making great salaries, venture into affairs so promiscuous that it is completely obvious these affairs will explode into alimony for life?
It is because their environment is completely predictable and because they’ve been postponing the decision for long enough time.
But there is also a bright side of this, fulfillment. Fulfillment always clings upon a decision, and it is always narrow enough to carry a corresponding big risk.
We may say:
Fulfillment completely depends on a predictable environment.
This is what thriving means: having enough energy to take risky decision after risky decision and living to see the results, again and again. If thriving for you sounds like a good idea, start at the bottom and optimize your environment.
There is no universal recipe. Some optimize their environment by having the “perfect” job, some build the ideal home, some search for a particular set of traits in their significant other and so on. What matters is the amount of predictability you get.
Predicting the future is hard. That is why every human restricts the array of possibilities to an accessible set, the set they find clear.
Clarity is a huge indicator for our brains about what we should settle on when narrowing our predictive behavior: some find clarity at work, some at creative endeavors, some at nothing in particular. Yes, “nothing in particular” is a narrow subset of possibilities and some people are very good at it, and to our blazing disappointment we might find out that most people choose this subset.
Overall, what I am trying to say is that you should be cool with what you feel like optimizing and never be afraid to delay a decision.
Pay attention to where you are. Literally.
To delay a decision is by no means indecision. Delaying is, as the name says, postponing, moving into the future the actionable choice, not fretting endlessly about outcomes and possible better alternatives, which means indecision.
Yet, if delaying is not your thing, because you have some work to do in the patience chapter, at least acknowledge were you are, how it feels to be there and how big the gap between ideal and real currently is, and in this way you’ll get to know your gut feeling.
Once you know what your gut feeling actually means, when it screams its way out like a spoiled child, you will be able to apply reason in a more reliable manner and, who knows, maybe even live a better life without changing anything at all. Now, that’d be nice.
Decidedly, clap this if you think it’s worth it.