A Very Important Detail
Monday June 20, 2011

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“That which we elect to surround ourselves with becomes the museum of our soul and the archive of our experience.” -Thomas Jefferson

When I first began blogging, one of the first inspirational posts I wrote focused on a person’s surroundings; however, I didn’t go into any detail as to what each of us should examine in our lives to create a world that is fulfilling and inspiring simply by being present. So today, I wanted to expand on the importance of paying attention to a detail that may at first seem quite minor, but in fact, is quite crucial to creating a life of true contentment and utter fulfillment.

Let’s begin with a question: What surrounds you? A simple question, but one that can reveal so much about how we view the world, what our daily dialogue is that runs through our minds when we don’t keep it in check and whether or not we are progressing successfully toward our goals or are off the tracks completely.

We are a product of our environment in more ways than we realize if we aren’t paying attention, and so therefore, it is imperative that we pay attention regularly to what we allow to surround us. And it really is a matter we are in control of – we are the gate keepers.

Here is a list of 10 things that might surround you on any given day.  Take some time to examine what your surroundings look like and where you might need to do a little tune-up or should pat yourself on the back for respecting yourself enough to be particular when it comes to the environment you live in.

1. Choose to work with people who know more than you in your desired field of work.

2. Live in a home that is clean, somewhat expressive of who you are (too much is not welcoming to your guests or you as you evolve), relaxing, as well as inspiring each time you step foot into it.

3. Be near nature as often as possible. Whether it be working in your yard, taking a walk in the park or sauntering down the beach, there is an amazing soothing quality that puts things into perspective and allows us to step away from our worries for a moment and appreciate the power of Mother Nature.

4. Choose a partner that is comfortable with themselves and will not be jealous of your dreams and/or success. Ultimately, a healthy relationship is one that builds both people involved up to reach their respective dreams and goals, as well as providing enough common interest, love and respect for each other to work together to achieve certain goals as a team.

5. The community you live in should contain opportunities for you and your family to enjoy, appreciate and be better off had you not had lived there.  With that said, there is not one single place in the world that will provide everything you wish for, however, when an impending move presents itself, be sure to look at everything and choose the place that best fits what you value for yourself and your family. These values may change over time as your needs and desires change, but it is important to make a conscious decision that sits well.

6. Confide in people you trust and who have your back, otherwise, remain mum about your private life.

7. Choose friends that, while trustworthy (as mentioned in #6), also want to see you succeed, are there to support you and build you up, not bring you down. The crux of a solid friendship is whether or not it makes you a better person than if they weren’t in your life, and visa versa.  Again, it’s not how many friends you have, but that you have friends where the give and take is equal.  In fact, it is highly recommended that as adults we have different friends based on how our friendship is based or began.  For example: professional friends, social friends, deep/emotional friends, buddy friends, mentoring friends, childhood friends, etc. Having an eclectic group of friends helps to create a more well-rounded social life.

8. The symphony or cacophony of your life. What noise do you literally listen to all day? Whether it be the music you listen to, the talk radio that helps you stay abreast of current events, the television programs you DVR or the language you allow in your presence, all of this noise has an effect on each of us.  It is imperative that we be cognizant of this and choose to be selective. For example, the language we allow our children or students to use reflects on the positive or negative energy in our life.  Again, remember the goal is to build ourselves and those around us up, not tear each other down. We must realize that words have a very powerful effect.  The same thing goes for the news.  I need to stay aware of what is going on in the world, but a limit must be set – one hour in the morning and one in the evening turned to the programs that I know will keep me up-to-date on the information I need to make decisions throughout my day and inform my class are all I need, otherwise it becomes detrimental.

9. What you read has tremendous power. Knowledge in, knowledge out.  Garbage in . . . well, you get the picture. Our minds are powerful machines and what they absorb affects how we see and relate to the world. What type of machine do you want to nourish and create? What type of skills and abilities do you want to foster?  Anything is possible based on what you feed your brain.  Choose to read every night in some form, and while yes, reading a delightfully fun chic lit book is perfectly acceptable, challenge yourself as well by reading the newspaper, acclaimed pieces of literature or genuinely helpful articles that benefit your life. (To read more ideas and benefits of incorporating reading into your regular routine, click here.)

10. Be the beautiful surroundings you want to see. So often we look outside of ourselves to find excellent surroundings, when we have the ability to create an even brighter environment by projecting a positive attitude and a loving heart. Whether it is the zeal you bring to raising your children, taking care of your pets, engaging in conversation with your friends or throwing yourself into your work, make sure the energy is positive and electrifying in a very welcoming way for those around you, and your effort will be reciprocated in many more ways than you’ll ever know.

Image: TSLL IG

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8 thoughts on “A Very Important Detail

  1. I really love your blog, your posts are well written and you always find the most beautiful pictures. Which is why I was wondering if you could maybe write a post on the way you blog. How much time you spend blogging in a given day, if you write your posts in advance, where you find you pictures. You seem like such an efficient blogger, both in quality and quantity, that is why I’m interested. And because I’m new to blogging, so I figured I’d ask the best…

  2. I loved this post! I just recently signed up for updates and have been reading your posts regularly for 2 weeks now, this post compelled me to comment!

    I completely agree…that we are what we surround ourselves with, especially agree with you on the friends bit.

    Keep writing. You inspire me to live a better and more fulfilling life.

    How about a post on foods that bring calm into a person’s life? A hot cup of chamomile tea in the middle of a rushed day for me is pure bliss.

  3. Shannon, your timing is impeccable and I must say this is one of my favorite posts of yours. I am preparing to travel out of town for a conference and when I travel via plane I always use the time to let my mind wander and think on the things you mentioned here. I agree with your points, thank you for putting them in writing for us, I cherish the beautiful writing you do for us each and every day. Cheers

  4. Hello Shannon-I just came across this post and it resonates so strongly with me. You always inspire me with your deep insight and gorgeous images. I just took the plunge and started my own blog this week. Though I have so much to learn about the process it’s exciting and a bit overwhelming. Reading this from you reminds me to take a deep breath and be mindful of keeping life in balance. Grateful, Heather

  5. Love your blog! Only found it a couple of days ago and I’m reading loads 🙂 Loved this article most so far. Especially being the beautiful you want to see! I’m only just getting brave enough to consider doing that … but it’s all steps in the right direction 😉 Thank you,x

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