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The Greatest Predictor Of Success

Episode #618

What do you want to achieve in 2023?

What does your environment look like?

Learn to let go of what drains you and make it easier for yourself to achieve your goals by upgrading your environment. 

In this episode, you’ll learn why your environment is the greatest predictor of success and what you can do to change your environment to change your life.

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Doug: Gentlemen, welcome back to another episode of the TPM show. Hope you’re doing well. Tim, how are you doing, brother?

Tim: I’m doing well, Mr. Dougie Fresh. It’s great to have you back as well. I had to do a couple of episodes on my own.

Doug:  Apologies to the listeners.

Tim: Yeah, exactly. If the number of downloads went down for a couple of weeks, that is why. So, I’m very happy and glad to have you back, as I’m sure everybody else is as well.

Doug: Well, just based on that, Tim, I want to give a shout out to the men that are listening to this podcast for sticking through. I mean, that’s amazing.

Tim: Luckily for us, there’s always new people. So I will be forgiven quite quickly.

Doug:  I’m certain that you did an amazing job, my friend. And thank you for covering for me so I could do what I needed to do.

Tim:  Any time. So obviously something that’s top of mind for us right now, just in conversations- we have coaching conversations and training with the men in the movement, the masterclass that you’re taking the men through, a lot of the coaching we’re doing with the IC- is this idea of okay, well, what is going to be the focus for 2023? You know, all the guys are way ahead of the of the game with this, which is great.

Equally, you know, some of the guys are still feeling into and thinking about some of their plans as well, which is also another great thing, because the way in which they often set visions is, they often achieve two or three versions of the vision within the same year. So, there’s often lots of revisions that go on, which is a great problem to have. And I think a big part of that is the environment that you put yourself in. You and I have been in many conversations over the past three or four months where certain lessons just keep getting repeated to us over and over and over.

And for me, whenever I start to hear something from different places randomly, and it just rings true for me, and I see it play out in my life, it starts to make sense, and I start to pay attention. Apologies for people that tried to give me advice, and it takes a little while to get through. That’s the secret to it. That is the filter. But anyway, that piece of advice is the idea that environment is the greatest predictor of success.

Kinda like the idea of crabs in a bucket, right? The crab tries to leave the bucket, the other crabs pull it back down. So, if we’re thinking about achieving more in 2023, how can you make that easier? How can you stack the odds in your favor, so you can get more out with less effort, then environment seems like one of the points of leverage, if you will. So, I want to just talk about that and the idea of environment, and what the listeners may be able to do right now to upgrade certain environments that they’re in, so that the environment can then be something that accelerates their growth. Because just to kind of widen the point a little bit in terms of the idea that environment is the greatest predictor of success, if you put a world class performer, if you will, in an average environment, he is going to have to work harder to perform at the same level as you would do usually if he was in a world class environment. Equally, if you were to put an average performer in a world class environment, it will typically be much easier for him to perform at higher levels of performance. Environment is one of the greatest predictors of success. So on that note, over to you with your thoughts on this. I know it’s fresh and top of mind for you right now because of what you were taking the men through. So, take it away.

Doug:  Yeah, I’ll be leading a large group of men from the from the Brotherhood. For those that don’t know, it is our one-year mastermind group. So, men go through the proven methodology which we call the AM, which allows men to get the love, respect and admiration back in their wife’s eyes. And a large percentage of those men I want to continue on because they’re getting results. They’re changing their lives. So they continue on to a one-year mastermind group with other business leaders like themselves. We call that the Brotherhood, where we do adventure, brotherhood and growth. And in that, I’ll be leading one of our master classes, and I’ll be talking about this particular subject.

The first thing I want to bring up is, what the heck is environment? What do you mean? Are you hugging trees? What’s going on here? So, we talk about the people around you, the things around you. So, how is your desk looking? How is your computer set up? But also the places that you go, and the places that go through there energetically, physically, aesthetically, all of those things combined. So, environment takes all of those into consideration. So what the heck does this mean, and what does it matter?

So, Tim, an easy example for me -and I’ll throw myself under the bus here – is that I lived and ran businesses in Santa Barbara, California. So for those that are geographically declined, that is essentially Southern California. We call it Central California, if you’re from the area. Very distinct regions of California. But it’s a very affluent community. It’s also a community that is very health conscious, very fit.

So, the people around you are always working out and running. And so, for me, being out of shape, when I lived in Santa Barbara, regardless of injuries, whatever – I was playing competitive sports, so I got injured. I had two shoulder surgeries. My head was cracked open while I was there. I’ve had major injuries. But I never went above a certain weight. I was always fit. And that’s just what the culture, or the environment was in Santa Barbara. It was not uncommon for someone on their lunch break to go running the entire lunch break, and to come back to the office a little sweaty. Yeah, no big deal. In fact, it was more unusual if you didn’t. And that was the environment of the people that I surrounded myself within business too. Hey, you want to meet and chat about your business? Awesome. You wanna go for a jog, you want to go for a hike, you wanna go play volleyball. There were activities that you would do rather than, hey, let’s just go to the bar.

Now, there’s plenty of that in Santa Barbara, and I partook in all of those as well. But my point is – and I was talking to my wife about this – it wasn’t until we moved. And when we moved, I got out of shape in a big way for the first time in my life, because the environment that I moved into, it was socially acceptable to go talk about your business and have a couple of pints, and then maybe a couple more over pizza and beer. And that was the environment. So, being 20 pounds heavier, eh, no big deal. So, it was the social norms.

Now, you switch the environment- now, this is just one example. And guys might be going, okay, well, who cares? But it’s the environment you’re putting yourself in. Also, when I was in Santa Barbara, I was around a lot of very successful, affluent business people. My conversations were at a very high level in the business realm. We could be going for that jog, and I could be jogging with one of the top hedge funders in the United States. I could be on a jog talking to somebody who had made hundreds of millions of dollars and exited their company in their 40s. The level of conversation was big there., and that was what the environment was. The connections were big, the insights were big.

However, when I moved and relocated to a new environment, a new town, that wasn’t available to me. Now, of course, we have Zoom, we have other means of communication. And luckily for me, we have the Brotherhood, this group of men that you can reach out to and talk to all over the world. But that’s part of the environment that we want to look at when we’re making considerations of what’s around us. What environment are we putting ourselves in? And we can think about the environment as it relates to your goals. What do you want to get done in 2023? What is it you want to get done? Do you want to scale your business? Do you want to improve your marriage? Do you want to prove your health? If that’s the case, the quickest indicator of whether you’re going to get there, or the best indicator, in my experience and opinion, doing this for over 20 years, is your environment.

Tim: I agree. The fastest way for you to get to your results will be environment, the environment that you put yourself in. And I’m curious, let’s just take a personal inventory. This is something we do with the men through the programs. So, if you have the ability to pull over, then go ahead and do that, if you’re listening to this driving or whatever it may be. Equally, if you want to stop this and make a note to come back to it, then go ahead and do that.

But what I want you to do is to take out a piece of paper, and on that piece of paper, I want you to draw three columns. Now don’t make these evenly spaced. You’re gonna make the two on the right a little bit narrower, and you can leave a lot of space, probably halfway across the page, to write some categories in here. Now what we’re going to do is, in those two columns, you can write a plus sign in one of them and a minus sign in the other. And then down the left hand side the different categories, you have physical, so your physical environment. So, that could be your office space, that could be your home environment, it could be your bedroom. We’ve spoken on previous podcasts about, what does your bedroom look like? What kind of environment is it? And is that environment set up to be seductive, to be sexual, right? Or, clothes all over the place, and there’s a TV there, and you just get in bed on a night with your wife, and all you do is veg out in front of the TV. Maybe that works for you, maybe it doesn’t.

So, physical environment is one of them. The next one I want you to write down is your person environment, if you will, and that is the people that you are around. Take into account, in a business context – what kind of level of conversation are you in? Think about the friends that you’re around, what level of conversation are you in there? What kind of hobbies do they want to do? We talk a lot in the movement about the ability to have clean fun, kind of like what you just mentioned with your friends in Santa Barbara. Personally, it sounds like a great move you made, but I get how Santa Barbara is effective for people as well.

And then also, your health environment. What’s the gym like that you go to? Is it a gym that inspires you to work out when you get there? Is it a gym that is full of people that are kind of at the level you want to be at? Do you have a trainer in that gym? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. So we’ll just start with those three main categories of environment. And I want you to start to think about some of the things I mentioned a moment ago, and categorize these.

So, the conversations with friends, is that a plus or a minus? Point being, does that charge you or drain you? And as you’re going through this list, just allow your mind to expand a little bit. You’ve got your home, and your physical environment. So again, think about your office, think about your home environment, think about your car. Is your car clean? Is it dirty? because every environment that you’re in is going to reflect back to you where you are going or where you don’t want to be, essentially. And categorize these all in terms of a plus – charges you up, or a negative – it drains you out.

So, you have the physical environment, you’ve got the environment for your health, you’ve got the environment for the people you associate with, the actual people,the conversations you’re in, the places that you go, all of that stuff. And once you’ve done this, have a look. How many things do you have on the charge side? How many things do you have on the drain side? When I first did this, I had a hell of a lot more on the drain than on the charge. So, that showed that the environments I was in were draining me, which was making it hard for me to perform at the level I wanted to perform at, because the environments I was in work at a lower level than I want it to play up.

Over time, I was able to get rid of some of those drains essentially, and add more to the charges. And I’ll tell you what – as I was able to do that, things become easier. The conversations I was in became higher-level, just like you were talking about. Fitness and health became something easier to do and stick to. It became a way of life versus something I did three days a week. The environment at home, it became easier to be the CFO. We spoke in the past about tapping the sign when you leave the office. Putting on different clothes when you finish work if you work from home, right? All these little things are environment and triggers.

Doug: They absolutely are, and they’re so important. Here’s what I encourage you to do: pause this audio or video and actually do what Tim suggested. Make your columns, make your pluses and minuses, and put those in there. We’ll wait for you guys, don’t worry. Alright, I’m assuming you guys actually did it. So don’t go through this and do what I call educational masturbation, go from one podcast to another making an excuse, hey, I’m driving, I’m on the treadmill. Flag the podcast, come back to it later.

I want you to do the work because I want you guys to get the results. We put out a ton of free material for you guys – there’s over 600 of these podcasts – so you guys can get results. Now, for a lot of you guys that are in the program this is going to be an addendum or a continuation of stuff that we’re already teaching. This is great – repetition is the mother of skill, which is the mother of mastery. As you go through this, guys, and you look at this, what are those environments?

And I’ve talked about it before, Tim, as you mentioned, I have an iron sign, a custom-made thing on Etsy, that as I walk out my office door, I can tap it to remind me that I go from being the CEO, or the bleeder mentality of my business, to the CFO, what we call the chief fun officer into my house, my family, with my kids. I got a three-year-old and a six-year-old out there waiting for daddy. They don’t want to have the leader of the TPM movement, they don’t want to have this coach coming in. My wife’s not looking for me to come in there and coach her, she’s looking for her man. So, I’ve created the environment to remind me, to trigger me to go into those roles. And I update that environment. I have pictures that my kids draw on there, and things that just make it easier for me to transition, for me to recall what my role is as I do that.

If you guys work from home, you know what this is like. You’re always around. You run out of your office, which is a bedroom, or basement or someplace in your house, or maybe it’s a detached- you go into the house and you’ve got 10 minutes before between calls, you’re running around hectically, and you’re not able to enter that CFO mindset. Even though it’s that short time, those micro times make such a difference. And to your point, Tim, you know, what is it around you? So, for a lot of you guys, New Year’s – what’s the biggest new year’s resolution that’s out there? Losing weight, getting in shape. Okay. Well, do you have alcohol sitting outside, where it’s just so easy at 5 PM, or whatever it is, just to make a drink? Or to have a beer? What about snacks? Are your snacks easily within reach, or did you put them on a higher shelf so you actually have to work a little bit to get there?

How have you created your environment? I personally know some of the biggest celebrity fitness people in the world. I know them, they’re my friends. They’re amazing people. I was in that world for a while. And what they do with their clients – clients pay them a lot of money, six figures, to work with them. They tell them, the first thing is get that crap out of your house, change your environment. And if you have it, put it some place that’s hard to get to. Change your environment. Make it easy for yourself to go on that walk. Put your running shoes right by the door. Change the environment. All of these things are subtle clues that rehash a routine.

And if you remember from a previous podcast, we talked about routines, and that routine cycle. So, what that is, a trigger happens an event, a trigger, so snapping the fingers could be a trigger. Then an action happens. And that action gets a reward of some sort. Sometimes these rewards seem bad, but it’s a reward. Maybe it could be attention. So, you have to change that trigger, which is your environment. How can you trigger yourself to get what you want? How can you look at those rewards? How can you get your environment into a place that’s best for you?

And look at this, like, if we believe that you are the product of the five people you spend the most time with, well, first of all, you’re with two people right now, Tim and I. But who are those other three that you’re spending time within your environment? Who else is in your ears, talking to you? Is it negative? Are you watching the news? Is that putting you off? Is it fear-mongering? What is it exactly that’s happening? Maybe your marriage isn’t working. Are you hanging out with other men who are working on being better husbands? If not, you have to change that environment.

How about couples? Are you actually associating yourself with couples who are striving for better? Right? If not, you need to change your environment. Are you hanging out with other business leaders? If you want your business to grow, those are the people you need to spend time with. If not, change your environment. That’s all we’re saying here guys. None of us are perfect, but we want to make it as easy as we can for ourselves to achieve our goals.

And what Tim is talking about here is one of the surefire ways of doing so. It’s the environment around you. The area around you, does it feel good? Does it smell good? Does your office smell good, or does it smell like crap? Right? Is your desk messy, or is it clean? I know you have organized chaos in the piles, you know where they are, but come on, guys. I’ve been there. That was my story for a long time. When it’s cleaned up or someone organizes it, you feel better. Do it now. Walk around your environment right now. Look around right now where you are. If you’re in your car, look around. Do you have trash on the floor? If you have kids, you got toys or trash somewhere in that car. Right? Look around though. Look around what’s there.

If you’re at your gym, does the gym make you feel good, or are you in a dungeon? Maybe the dungeon workouts are your thing, cool. I’m with it. I’m with whatever gets you towards your goals, man. I’m in full support of whatever allows you to be at your highest, and serve yourself at the highest. For those men that are involved in the movement right now, are you guys actively participating in the private community that we have for you? That is a place to be surrounded by men.

So, I mean, absolutely surrounded, engulfed, if you will, by men who are achieving high things. I go into that group and I see Decker, as an example, doing his ARS. I see all kinds of guys doing the work that we talked about, and it inspires me. There’s mornings I don’t want to get up. I have two kids with ear infections right now. And they’re little kids, so they’re up all night, I’m up with them taking care of them. Yet my alarm went off this morning at 4:20. Don’t ask why it’s my time, but it is. 4:20 this morning, I got up. Why? Because my environment creates it for me. My clothes are laid out. My ARS is ready for me. It’s begging me to come, because my environment is conducive to that. And the people I surround myself with, they’re doing the same. The men in the IC, shout out to you guys. They’re posting their ARS, they have a private chat group through a different app that they use, and they’re encouraging each other, pushing each other to do their ARS each and every day. I see that, you know what? It makes me want to do my ARS, despite being up all night two nights in a row with sick kids. Because it’s my environment. It’s the environment that I’m in.

They’ve actually done studies – and Tim, I know you know this, so I’m preaching to the choir here. But some of you guys may not have seen this. These are actual scientific studies that showcase that if you hang out with people who are obese, statistically, you will be obese. Conversely, if the four people, guys or girls, that you spend most of your time with are runners, they love running, and you spend your time with them, odds are you become a runner. Want to be a better husband? Spend time with guys who are working on being better husbands. Want to have a friggin amazing marriage? Spend time with guys who have a great marriage, or are working on it. Want to be great at business? Spend time with business leaders. Want to be good with your health? Spend time with people who are working on their health and fitness. You want to be with men who are achieving greatness and are working on their way to doing so, while uplifting others? Spend time with men involved in the TPM movement. I guarantee that’ll help you get there.

Tim: That’s some great advice, gents. What you do with it is up to you. Hopefully, you paused this, hopefully, you did the work. As you reflect upon that list, as you reflect upon what Doug is sharing with you, which was a very strong call to arms, which I love – what is your environment reflecting back to you? If you look at your environment currently, and if you agree that environment is one of the biggest predictors of success, what level of success is your environment predicting that you will have in 2023 right now? Look at it. Take stock. Are you going to achieve your goals in 2023, given your current environments? If you feel like you are, then how hard is it going to be for you to do that, given your current environment?