Steps in helping you create your ideal future.

You are the product of your culture and context. You’re the product of the information and inputs you consume. Everything that comes in—the food, information, people, experiences—shapes you.

Now is a good time to design your environment to reflect your future identity. When you change your environment, over time, everything about you will change. You’ll begin having new experiences. You’ll have new thoughts and emotions. You’ll be around new people. You’ll be engaging in new behaviors. Your identity and personality will change.

Integrate Yourself In New Situations

As a person ages, they tend to stop engaging in new situations, experiences and environments. In other words, people’s personalities become increasingly consistent because they stop putting themselves into new contexts.

Although culture is rapidly changing, there are still similar patterns. By the time a person reaches their thirties, they stop having as many “first” experiences. In their childhood, teens, and even twenties, there are a lot of experiences: First kiss, first time driving, first job, first major purchase, First time away from home. But at some point, we “settle down.”

We stop engaging in new roles and new situations that bring out new and different sides of us. Thus you begin to see very predictable behaviors and attitudes. This is one of the core reasons why personality is viewed as stable and predictable over time. It’s not that your personality itself becomes stable, but rather that your routine environments and social roles lock you into habitual patterns.

Want to evolve? Start learning new things. Learn a new art, martial art, painting, photography. Join a new social group. If you keep putting yourself in the same situations and the same roles, you’ll plateau.

Challenge Yourself…Always

Many American teenagers are becoming increasingly inflexible. Many students across the country are demanding that they no longer be required to give in-class oral presentations, claiming their issues with anxiety make them “uncomfortable” with presenting in front of an audience. They believe they shouldn’t be required to do something that feels so unnatural.

Confidence and psychological flexibility are built by taking on new challenges and situations. Of course, in the moment, those situations may not feel great. But on the flip side, you become a more capable and flexible person.

Want to transform? Take on new challenges that may initially feel difficult or “unnatural.” Over time, you’ll adapt, becoming more flexible, capable and confident.

Remain Focused and Know What to Avoid

Being a successful creative person requires selective ignorance.

An example is Seth Godin, who purposefully doesn’t read the comments on Amazon about his books. He used to do so, but it only left him feeling horrible and questioning himself. So now he has stopped. Seth is selectively ignorant to what the trolls say, and he’s better off as a result. He doesn’t need that noise coming into his psyche, confusing his identity and purpose.

Selective ignorance is not the avoidance of learning. It’s not the avoidance of getting feedback. It’s simply the intelligence of knowing that with certain things and people, the juice will never be worth the squeeze.

If you want to transform your life, you’ll need to transform your environment. This includes the experiences you have, the people you surround, and the information you consume.

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