Did you ever hear the story of Joshua Bell?
In 2007, Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world, stood in a subway station in New York and performed for 45 minutes.
No one knew who he was. A violinist doesn’t exactly have the same recognition as say, Tom Brady or LeBron James.
Joshua played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a Stradivarius violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
A handful of people stopped, a couple of people clapped, and after just under an hour of playing, Joshua walked away with a mere $30 in tips.
Two days before he played in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where seats averaged approximately $100 each.
You may remember this story or you may be hearing it for the first time.
It was an intentional experiment as to what happens when you take something extraordinary and place it in an ordinary environment.
Oftentimes, it’s overlooked and undervalued.
Many of you, right in this moment, may be in an environment that dulls your light.
I’m not simply talking about your physical environment either.
Your family is part of your environment. Your social circle is part of your environment. What you consume on social media is part of your environment.
You may be brilliant and gifted and capable of so much …
And your environment is the one thing that’s holding you back.
I spoke to a woman yesterday who had a major health scare and really wanted to make some changes that would allow her to live longer and more vibrantly for her children.
Her biggest challenge … her husband.
She said that he never supports her when she wants to eat better. He resists her offers of being accountability buddies. He intentionally sabotages her when she’s making better choices.
That is a difficult environment to blossom and grow.
In that scenario, there’s only one option. She must have an honest conversation with her husband about what support would look like for her and why she needs that from him.
If he’s not open to supporting her the way she needs to be supported, then she has a difficult decision to make about that relationship.
It’s not easy. But your environment is critically important.
Someone else sent me a video on Instagram that she wanted me to watch.
It was some random woman who was fear mongering about carbs and sugar.
Just an absolute pathetic display of trying to conjure up an emotional reaction about carbs.
She DM’d me and asked for my thoughts … which I did not hold back in giving 😉
The point isn’t about the video … it’s about that video being a part of your environment and the things you consume.
Does it empower you? Make you feel more confident? Or does it make you fearful? Make you feel more confused?
You must curate your own environment that is conducive to success.
Does your environment include a community of like minded individuals who can relate to your journey and your struggles?
Does your environment include a coach who can guide and support you through difficult situations?
If not, your gifts may go unnoticed.
Like Joshua Bell playing in a New York subway.
The beauty of it all is that you have a lot of control over your own environment.
You can join a community of like minded people who will lift you up.
You can invest in a coach.
You can have a conversation with your partner about what support looks like for you and why it’s so important.
You can choose who you follow on social media and the content you consume.
You can always change your physical environment.
Whether that means moving to a new one or cultivating the current physical environment that you’re in.
You can control what you surround yourself with.
You can go from a house that has processed foods everywhere you look to a house that has mostly quality food choices.
Your environment is what allows your gifts and your capabilities to flourish or thrive.
It can also be the thing that dims your light.
You have more control than you think.
Cultivate your environment. Change your life.