Your People

Want to listen to this edition? Click here:

There are three things that have the power to change your life—and move you closer to what you truly want. One is to have an epiphany. For lightning to strike, thunder to peal, and enlightenment to smack you on the forehead. Epiphanies are great when you can get them. But you won’t find them in a Canadian Tire catalogue. It seems like epiphanies come to you; you don’t go to them.

More reliably, you can create tiny changes. I’ve written about this plenty—and will continue to do so—because this skill is so important. Tiny changes are often non-intuitive because they’re so small. Just like the way that fungal threads connect to and extend a plant’s roots. In the diagram below, they’re the lighter-coloured extensions of the roots. In real life, they’re deeply entangled and it’s hard to know where the root ends and the mycorrhizae (fungal hyphae) begin. Here, they give the plant access to water and minerals (like nitrogen and phosphorous) at a scale too small for plant roots to absorb.

“Why would I take a single, mindful breath between task changes, or push my discomfort a microsecond longer when I want it to end?” There’s an intuitive line in the sand that you won’t cross because you don’t see the value. I want to encourage you to cross that line because nature does it as an SOP and the difference is clear. Look at the difference between plants with and without a fungal connection to the soil. Guess which one is more likely to thrive?

There is value in tiny, cumulative changes—even when a single one isn’t big enough to register.

The third way to change is to change your environment. As a fun experiment, imagine designing your work or home space for maximum health—and with the sky as the limit. Perhaps the bathroom is now at the top of a steep hill. Or your bedroom is deep inside a cave—away from the faintest sliver of light. What if a crowd of people cheered whenever you put on your shoes to go for a walk? Or the author of your current book would come by to discuss it whenever you finished a particularly juicy passage? More learning and movement would happen automatically—no motivation required. Bang is that environment for many of our members. It automatically filters out distraction and ramps up focus and performance.

I remind myself, from time to time, that if I really wanted to, I could turn my home into a ball pit—or convert my dining area into a meditation chamber. That’s one of the perks of adulthood. So, since you’re an adult now too,  perhaps there’s something you can do to shape your environment in subtle but important ways.