Rule #3: Constantly survey the environment to ensure every day you see where you are at.
Most people go through life not knowing they are a product of their environment. They assume they can’t get out. You can save yourself by an awareness of how some things happening around you are not just consequences but are intentional. You are identified by others as a certain type of person and judged. If you fit the mold of the stereotype, then you are selected to do whatever the assignment for that environment. In this illustration, it may appear as happenstance, but know the system is inviting you into the circle. There is no such thing as luck, so if you are aware you want to leave an environment, preparation and opportunity should meet. The people you need to raise you up will appear and you can be guided through the process of learning how to better navigate the system you’re in.
Your goals change because you mature, and you grow and you understand you can achieve more based on your exposure to the systems that surround you, but you have to be able to see them.
Choose to not learn or follow certain rules, and the system is unforgiving. Decide for yourself what kind of existence you want.
Life itself is a system of processes that can bring your goals into focus. Each circumstance I have found myself in throughout my life, ranging from personal to life-threatening, I grew a greater clarity in identifying how to enter and thrive in an environment where rules are unseen and unspoken. I took the time to identify the environment, and understand, I was not always positioned for advancement. Losing out on a promotion is not a reflection of your abilities… you are going up against an environment where you cannot thrive. Therefore, you need to work the system to get to an environment where you are appreciated and promoted. The more responsibility I took for my identification of the system I was in, the sooner I was able to get out of that system or if I was obligated to stay for a period of time, develop the alliances to survive. In other words, I was always seeking a new level of happiness and satisfaction no matter what other people thought of my abilities.
Once you have learned to apply the observations and steps followed for one process to another, you will be able to successfully navigate any system for the life of your dreams.
We are built as humans to progress, expand, and evolve. In order to do so, you have to identify the environment you are in so you can navigate through it. You have to choose the right people to align with, and if you are in an environment that does not suit you, make a clear plan to get out. That system will be your demise if you know it is not serving your best interest and you stay. We have choices in life. Know who and what you want to be. If you are not clear with your direction, then you won’t know how to orchestrate step one to building a life foundation. The system will swallow you up if you do not have a vigilant eye on the players.
Identify your objectives continually while working in a particular environment. Each environment is a smaller system in the bigger system of life. Your awareness is on you. Know who you are and what you want to be. Are you looking for higher wages or being put in a trusted leadership position? The key is to understand your objective. You must begin with the end in mind. You must know the end state you are trying to achieve to recognize the key figures to focus on to get you through that particular system.
I joined the Navy as a torpedoman’s mate under the delayed entry program in 1976. Looking back, I completely understand and never regret any of my decisions because they all taught me my next moves in life. Living in Georgia taught me a lot of valuable principles and a lot of basic necessities needed to survive. The most important aspect of this lifestyle was how it motivated me to do better.
After being exposed to several facets of the system, from farmhand to pilot, I realized I had a hunger to see more of the world than just the South. I didn’t want to get stuck there around a majority of unmotivated people. So, off I went to discover a better system not knowing exactly what I was looking for, but I knew it was something out there I had to learn. Once you have the mindset to look to see the various systems, then it allows you to pick and choose what system you want to be a part of at this time. I developed Rule of the System #3: Constantly survey the environment to ensure every day you see where you are at, and it kept me out of harm’s way. In my life, I use the fence concept. The fence concept is you either live on one side or the other. You cannot straddle the fence. You can’t live on the left side and play on the right side or vice versa. You have to choose which side of the fence you’re going to live on, and that’s the side you stay on.