• Wally Lan

The importance your environment plays in your success

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

When asking most people what is the most important key for success, chances are that they will likely say motivation, working harder, longer, and smarter. It is common to blame failure on lack of motivation or talent.

Though there is nothing wrong with that line of thinking, that is just a part of ensuring success. However, by being proactive and creating the proper environment, you improve your productivity and workflow, which in turn will increase your chances of success.

This especially holds true right now, the start of the new school year for many students across the nation. Prior to this pandemic, a common sentiment shared by many students were their expressions of apathy and dread for attending school each day, wishing that they could stay home.

Now, the tables have turned. What was once as wish among students has now turned into a nightmare. Many are struggling with this shift into online learning. Ask any student, and they will most likely give you comments among the lines of, “Distance learning is horrible,” “Distance learning will never be as suffice as in-person learning,” and “There are just so many flaws with distance learning.”

And being a high school student myself, I too share their struggles. However, it is important to realize that in this time of crisis, we have to make the most out of what we have.

A common problem and theme that I realized is how easily distracted one can get during online school. Think about it, students have access to everything around them. When they feel the slightest bit of boredom, they will reach for their phones. And what happens as a result? They struggle with learning and fall behind.

Optimizing and creating the best environment to ensure success

And now the question is how do I create the environment to succeed?

- Pretend that you have as much access to items, devices, etc. as you would in a normal work environment. The next time you find yourself disengaged in an online session and are about to use your phone, think twice and ask, “Would I be using this if this were a normal work environment?”

- Restrict distracting websites. Often times, we find ourselves opening tabs and visiting a website or social media platform, closing them, and opening them again. This becomes impulsive for some people, including myself. There are third-party extensions for web-browsers that allow people to blacklist specific websites.

- Activate the “do not disturb” feature on your phone.

- Clean your desktop.

- Use a desktop wallpaper that is not distracting.

It is trivial to recognize how our environment impacts our lives. Overlooked by many people, we blame our environment when things do not turn out in our favor. And yet, when life goes well, we ignore the environment and attribute all the hard work to ourselves.

It works both ways. Our environment catalyzes both our strong and negative traits. Those who do well in times like these, whether it be work or school, are the ones who optimize their environments to perform to the best of their abilities. And those who are struggling may be struggling with their environment, not even realizing its importance.

All it takes is recognizing that the area around you is not suited for success in order to start maximizing your potential and performance in this time of crisis and whatever the future entails.

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