Environment vs. Willpower

[Note: In case you’re just joining the saga, this is a follow up to this post, in which I asked people for interest in something I was thinking about creating. The overwhelming response was “Yes! Do it.” It seems like something like this has been missing for a while.]

It takes me a long time to learn things.

Repetition is the mother of learning I think they say (whoever “they” are).

But it seems like I learn things at a lower pace than most people. It takes a while for me to get calibrated to anything new.

Maybe it’s because I feel like I really need to take the time to dig down and absorb the root of what I’m learning. I’m not sure.

It’s always been this way, ever since I’ve been a little kid. Even though I did very well in school and picked things up quickly, whenever something was really important or interesting to me, it took a lot of time for me to really “get” it.

And I’ve learned to accept that.

No big surprise here

It’s really not a big surprise that the Willpower vs. Environment lesson took me a long time to get, as well. Actually, it’s still something I’m understanding each day.

I’ve come to realize that environment nearly always wins the battle over willpower. The first is a bedrock structure, the latter is a finite resource.

When I set out to quit my job and get paid to do what I love, I knew I had to change my environment if I wanted to stand a chance against the gravitation pull of the 9 to 5.

And, it wasn’t easy.

After all, there was only so much I could change. I still had to work in an office where people didn’t support entrepreneurship. I couldn’t afford to simply quit. And at the time, my wife was very skeptical of whether or not this would work (she’s changed her feelings about this, of course).

But even back then, I knew it was important for me to create a supportive environment if I wanted to increase my chances of a successful escape.

I began by connecting with people in the comments of blogs, sending them emails and reaching out to others who sympathized with my plight. I knew there had to be people out there that felt the same way as I did.

That led me to start my own blog, and it made making those connections a bit easier because people started coming to me.

And all of this I had to work persistently to bootstrap. Unfortunately I wasn’t born into a community that believed this was possible. (Now it seems like second nature.)

But not everyone always understood

A lot of the people I connected with didn’t understand what I was trying to do. They thought that I had a “good job” and couldn’t understand why I wanted to leave.

I had to wake up and recommit myself to move in the direction of what I wanted, despite the inertia of my current reality.

Every day I had to resolve myself to resist the gravitational field of that reality.

Each day I decided to focus my intention on work that I loved and working for myself.

Eventually, it worked.

And throughout the years I’ve come to realize just how passionate and expansive this community really is. Just the other day I was having a conversation with my massage therapist, and out of nowhere he confessed to me that he’s been dying to start his own online fishing community.

I’m always surprised by how many people out there want to create something on their own terms and decide for themselves in what ways they’ll serve the world.

I never would have dreamed this community would grow to what it is now, and it keeps expanding each day.

And it often blows me away when I realize that we’re just getting started.

Looking back at the key to success

When I look back I realize that one of the biggest keys for me was making the decision to create a small alliance of peers that support me in my mission. To really take the reigns and decide for myself what type of environment I wanted to wake up in.

When you cultivate an environment that supports your greatness, and holds a space for you to be vulnerable and do things in a big way, you tap into an energy greater than you have access to on your own.

It’s that collective melding of energy (or joining forces) that creates something really powerful.

It’s got me thinking about how so many people don’t have access to this type of environment. Or they’re not sure where to start in order to step into their greatness.

So, I’m thinking about creating a free resource for you. It will help you with creating a private council that stops at nothing to support you with your dreams. It will also show you how you can tap into the wisdom and knowledge of the group to make bounding leaps forward in your life and work.

Most importantly, you’ll start to feel a bit less alone.

This resource kit will likely include:

  • The central transformations necessary for stepping into your greatness
  • How to identify the tribe you need, and how to know who you should include in your private council
  • The keys to an environment that makes success almost inevitable

(The final contents of the kit will ultimately be decided by you, since I’ll be asking you for your feedback.)

The truth is, when you create an environment that supports you it’s hard to not succeed.

But, I only want to create this if there’s enough interest. I’m thinking I’ll create it if around 500 or so people are interested.

Here’s what I want you to do

If you’re interested in this resource kit, enter your email below and click submit.



Also, if you have any suggestions for what I should include in the kit, please leave a comment. It would help me a lot.

Looking forward to sending you this!


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The first few weeks of the Job Escape Kit has already produced some outcomes I’d never thought I’d see in my whole career.” ~ Nick Burk

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