The Environment Strategy

Environment Knock Out!

This world can knock you around…

It’s hard to stay focused on your goals when you’re constantly getting knocked down… or knocked out.

What’s worse is when the people throwing the hardest punches are the people closest to you… the people in your immediate environment.

You’ve let your guard down, shared your dreams, talked about your frustrations…

…when all the sudden, “BAM!,” you get hit unexpectedly by a big, ugly, nasty swing to the face.

Quick Summary

  1. Environmental Challenges: The article opens by acknowledging the difficulties posed by the surrounding environment, particularly when personal goals are constantly disrupted by external setbacks.
  2. Betrayal from Within: It emphasizes the painful reality that the hardest setbacks often come from those closest to us, with whom we’ve shared our aspirations and vulnerabilities.
  3. Commonality of Inner Circle Attacks: The piece highlights that betrayal or discouragement from friends or family is not uncommon. These individuals may undermine your success, either due to their insecurities or discomfort with your achievements.
  4. Impact of Others’ Insecurities: It discusses how some people try to diminish your success or aspirations, not necessarily because they despise you, but because your progress highlights their stagnation.
  5. Defensive Living: The article talks about developing a defensive approach to life after experiencing betrayals, where you’re constantly guarding against potential emotional attacks, which can be exhausting and limiting.
  6. Limitation of Dual Focus: Drawing parallels with sports, the article notes the difficulty in maintaining a defensive stance while trying to advance (offense), suggesting that progress requires dedicated focus.
  7. Mental Focus and Limitations: It uses the analogy of thinking about two colors to demonstrate that it’s challenging to focus on growth (offense) when part of your mental energy is reserved for defense against close detractors.
  8. Two Types of People: The article categorizes friends and family into two groups: those who support you and those who hold you back, emphasizing the need to recognize this distinction for personal growth.
  9. Influence of the Inner Circle: It reinforces the idea that you are significantly influenced by the closest people in your life, and your self-perception and life trajectory are often reflections of their views and words.
  10. Changing Your Circle for Life Change: The closing argument is a call to action to reassess and, if necessary, change your inner circle. By surrounding yourself with people who challenge and elevate you, you change your environment, which, in turn, has the power to change your life.


I would like to tell you that inner circle attacks are unusual, they’re not.

If you’re like I am, you’ve been around the block a few times and have the scars to prove it. You know the people you let in the closest are the folks who could hurt you the most.

Some family and friends will feel threatened when you finally enjoy some success or look suspiciously smug when you fail.

They like to help themselves feel better by jabbing at you, knocking you down a peg or two at every opportunity, and constantly killing your enthusiasm with their own negative, fearful opinions.

Their insecurities can’t stand your success. They’re jealous that you have the confidence to chase your dreams.

Rather than coming up to your level, they want to even things up by dragging you down to where they’re comfortable. They’ll step on your throat to make sure you don’t get back up if they have to.

You don’t want to go back to the bottom again. You’ve been there, bought the shirt, and you’re fighting every single day to never go back.

Offense or Defense

After getting punched in the face a few times, you learn to cover up, hide your vulnerabilities, and stay on high-alert for that killer right hook to your ego.

Here’s the problem with that strategy… you can only do one thing really well at a time. You’re either on offense or you’re on defense.

Trying to do both at the same time is almost impossible.

[snippet]”It is hard to be great at more than one thing at a time.”[/snippet]

Mickey Mantle is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He was a 20 time All-Star, 3 time AL MVP, and the 1956 Triple Crown winner. He was as dominant of an offensive player as there ever was. Yet, he only won the coveted defensive Gold Glove once in his career.

There’s a short list of professional football players that have played on both sides of the ball with any effectiveness.

Amazing athletes like Deion Sanders, who turned defense into instant offense, are the exception and not the rule.

The Color Blue

If you’re thinking about the color BLUE… you are thinking about the color BLUE, aren’t you? If you’re thinking about the color BLUE, it is really hard to concentrate on the color RED without losing focus on the color BLUE.

You can switch your mind’s focus back and forth between RED and BLUE really fast, but you can’t concentrate equally on RED and BLUE at the same time.

Your Inner Circle

Your friends, and even your family, come in one of two colors.

Either for you or against you. Either they hurt you or they help you. Either they’re happy to see you succeed or happy to see you fail.

There’s a few folks who can flip back and forth really fast, punching then hugging, but they usually have a preference for causing you pain.

It has been said that who we are is the average of the five closest people in our lives. Our inner circle of friends, family, and mentors closely represents our own thoughts, attitudes, and ambitions about life.

I believe that you are becoming now what you think about most of the time. Your thoughts and words are a powerful, creative, and active force in your life.

[snippet]”You are becoming what you think about most of the time.”[/snippet]

However, I also believe you are shaped and molded by what you believe your inner circle thinks and says about you most of the time.

Change Your Life

It would only make sense then, if you want to change your life, you have to change your friends.

If you want to change your life, you have to restrict certain members of your family from having unlimited, free access to your thoughts and emotions.

If you want to change your thoughts, attitudes, and emotions, you’ll need different mentors… people who challenge you to be what you want to become.

Remove the average, replace it with the exceptional.

Change your inner circle, change your life.

This is the environment strategy.


P.S. Jesus Christ himself was betrayed from the inside with a Kiss from Judas. There’s no such thing as lifetime immunity from the pain of being hurt by someone on the inside. You can increase your chances of success by surrounding yourself with the right kind of people.