Environment is Vital for Tapping Into Creative Passions

Change Your Environment“Now I have a place to call my own
Now I have a house to make a home
Now I have a seat upon a throne
Cause now I have a place to call my own
I didn’t bother about a thing
I’ll never worry about a thing”

— Alicia Keys, “A Place of My Own

I used to work with this guy in Las Vegas, I’ll call him Hank. Hank wasn’t your average co-worker for he . . . didn’t bond well with many people. How we ended up friends is a mystery that to this day we often wonder. The best way to describe Hanks would be short-tempered, stressed and a bit irritable with everyone.  Every one. Every day.

Shortly after I met him, he left our place of employment to start his own server/web hosting business out of his home. The home office arrangement suited him for he had to deal with even less people. However, the stress and irritability continued to linger in his life. The more he embraced his reclusive environment, the worse it got.

After a few years, Hank decided he needed a change of scenery. He needed to get out of Vegas, out of Nevada. He wasn’t sure where but he knew his destiny was elsewhere.  Hank packed up his belongings, his wife and the dog for a move up north.

Hank found a house in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and that is when everything shifted for the young man. He still works from home, but he is also a member of the areas search and rescue emergency unit. He takes part in community events and invites people to his house. He is upbeat, positive and (dare I say) social. The stress is gone, along with the irritability.

He often kids that there is Pre-CDA Hank and the real Hank. I think there is something to it. Like Hank, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders while I lived in Las Vegas, then Portland and later Vancouver, BC. It seemed like no matter what my address was — there was always a bit of discontent coloring my experiences.

That was until I found the Sunshine Coast. I wake up energized and motivated to tackle my day. I find beauty in the coastal town, creativity in the friendly community vibe and a true sense of happiness in my place in the world.

John Maxwell, in a recent blog post, said “To grow to our full potential, we have to be in the right environment. Growth thrives in favorable conditions. You and I grow the most when we surround ourselves with people and opportunities conducive to our development.”

For Hank and I, it wasn’t the career or our personality traits that were causing the cloud to hover over us. I really believe the two of us weren’t in an environment that was conducive to the people we were becoming.

In “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard,” brothers Dan & Chip Heath suggests that tweaking the environment may be needed to make a change. “When the situation changes, the behavior changes. So, change the situation.” Pack up and head north like Hank or perhaps spend some time experimenting with different locales, scenery, neighborhoods.

We all need to find the place we call home. A place that is in sync with the person we are working to be. A place that taps into our passion, enhances our relationships and provides motivation to be the best we can be.

Where is the place you call your own? Have you found it?

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