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How Your Environment May Be Holding You Back


No matter how hard you try…

No matter how much you study, how many tapes you listen to, how many books you read, how many goals you set, how many times you tell yourself that you are going to do better, lose weight, make more money, stand up to your boss, cut the negative b.s. out of your life…

No matter how much you "try" – NONE of it will work if you don't do this ONE important thing…

You MUST change your environment.

Must – as in "have to".  I know, I know; I hate getting told I "have" to do anything, too. But – in this case, I know it's critical, so I threw the "must" on it.


Here's a perfect example why:

This past Tuesday, I was invited as the guest speaker at the Sunburst Youth Academy here in Southern California.  The Sunburst Academy is a government-sponsored military high school for at-risk youth in the local community.

These are the kids that are going down the wrong road, flunking out of school, getting into trouble with the law, you name it.  Their parents have basically said, "This is it – your last chance" and sent them here.

I spoke for two full hours, pouring my heart out to these kids.  I told them painful stories about myself, success stories about a graduate from their program, as well as stories of success and "making it" through tough times.

But, there was one topic that got the most heads nodding in agreement – and that was about their environment.

When asked if they knew anyone who was going nowhere, hanging in gangs, skipping school and basically being a No-goodnik, almost all of them raised their hands.  When I asked if they hung out with any of these kids, again, almost all said yes.

I then posed the question, "So, if these kids are trouble, going nowhere fast…and you were hanging out with them…and now you're here…what do you think caused you to get in trouble…and what do you think is going to happen if you go BACK to hanging out with them?"

You could have heard the proverbial pin drop.  It was quieter than when your drunk Uncle Al makes an rude comment at Thanksgiving dinner in front of the kids.

It gets better.  I returned the next day as a follow-up and while I was there, there was a cadet getting written up for "huffing".

When I heard that, I thought they were messing with me because of my last name.  They told me no, "huffing" was when someone takes an aerosal can, turns it upside down, puts it in their mouth and presses the button, breathing in whatever squirts out.

They do it for a quick, two-minute high.

They risk their lives, their health and their brain cells…to suck Axe Body Spray out of a can…for a two-minute high? 

I was dumbfounded.  Flabbergasted.  Speechless.  Shocked.  I felt like the AFLAC duck; I just shook my head and said, "Huuuhhhh?"

I was allowed to listen to the interview of the cadet and guess what the reason was he gave for "huffing"…

"That's what we do back in the 'hood to get high."  When asked, he said he never thought about what it was doing to him or if it was bad for him.  It's just what everyone did.


Here is a 16 year old kid, sucking on a can of body spray to get high because that is what they do back in the 'hood – even thought it could possibly kill him.

You are not a troubled teen sucking dangerous chemicals out of a can, but what do you have going on around you in your world, that you are repeating or absorbing without thought?

Are there alot of victims in your world?  Do your friends major in complaining?  Are there are a lot of "disgusting fatbodies"?

What about money problems?  Is there more than one person you hang out with or have a relationship with that seems to always have money issues?

What about relationships?  Is there a serial drama queen in your world?  Someone that is going from relationship to relationship, never happy and always finding fault?

There is an old saying out there that says in five years, you will BE the books your read and the people you hang out with.

It is almost impossible to overcome your environment.  If you want to change or improve any area of your life – and their are people or situations that are in direct conflict with how you want to be – the painful truth is that those people or situations have to go.

If not, you can end up like some of these kids who go home and DO NOT change their environment; back on the corner, huffing on a can of body spray, trying to get high.

You are better than that.

Change your environment and you can change anything for the better.

To your best,

Sensei Harrison Huff

P.S. – One of the chapters in my book, "Bully Proof Kids" is titled, "Birds of a Feather Get Shot Together".  In this chapter, I go into detail about how your environment is everything.  Go to Bully Proof Kids to get yours today.

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