In all things in life, there is good, better, and best. I am a big fan of shooting for best. I believe the whole concept of wellness is based on maximizing your body and health so that you function, perform, grow, and heal at your best.
But how do you continue to grow? What happens when you plateau, hit a wall, or your growth and success stalls? One key is to ensure that your environment, surroundings, and resources expand to ensure more growth is possible.
I got to thinking about this after watching a video of a good friend’s son making an incredible catch during a college football scrimmage. I thought this kid was amazing in high school. He was a stand-out, for sure. My guess is that he maximized his talents and abilities during those four years. Yet, at that time, if put on a college or pro field, he would have gotten crushed.
So how, in one year at college, could he get that much bigger, that much stronger, that much more talented, to the point where not only can he compete at this next level, but begin to stand out? The answer… his environment.
Let me explain. A plant will often grow only so big in a particular planter. Its ultimate size will be limited by the restrictions it has within the planter. The smaller the planter, the more limited its growth will be. On the flip side of that, the larger the planter, the more room for growth and potential to reach its optimal size. If you take a plant that has reached its full potential in one planter, pull it out of that planter, and replant it in a larger planter, that plant will get bigger. Even if that plant had remained the same size for years, it will still get bigger if replanted in a larger planter.
Fish are the same. I had a fish in college that I kept in a ten-gallon tank. I knew I had seen that type of fish grow much larger than the one I had, but it remained quite small. When I asked at the pet store, I was told that it would only get so big in that ten-gallon tank, because the size of the tank was limiting its growth. When I put that fish in a 20-gallon tank, guess what? It grew much larger.
Your growth, productivity, and overall success are dependent on the environment you are in. If you have been doing everything you can, doing your absolute best, busting your butt, but are not excelling, you likely need to change something, or some things, around you.
This can be the people you are around, the office you are in, the books or materials you are reading and studying, your mentors, your relationships, and/or your habits. If you’ve fully tapped your resources, yet fail to go to the next level, working harder will not do it. It may take a replanting.
There are many reasons a great high school football player continues to get better in college. The number one reason is that the college football environment allows for, provides for, and makes possible, that improvement. The resources, beliefs, coaching, and peers are like that bigger planter or larger tank. Those things not only allow for that increased growth and success, they essentially command it.
What can you change in your environment to get to that next level? Or… better question… what needs to change in your environment to get to that next level? You might be good. Working hard will make you better. But an ideal environment is critical for you to become your best. Don’t settle for good, or even better, when there is a best inside you. The world needs the BEST version of you right now.