Rosanna Tomiuk's Website | “This sucks!”…So, is it you or your environment that needs to change?
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“This sucks!”…So, is it you or your environment that needs to change?

I was at a local pool last week for an event and thought it might be strategic to complete a swim workout when it was over since I was already poolside. When I jumped into the ‘very fast’ lane during public swim, I discovered it wasn’t very fast at all. I had trouble doing my swim sets properly due to slow swimmers, and when a grampa-man started stretching and rotating his hips in his saggy Speedo outside my ‘very fast’ lane, I thought, “You best not jump in this lane, grampa!!!” I was frustrated.

It happened again a few days afterward when I chose to go cycling on the Lachine Canal in Montreal on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I needed to bang out a quick 40KM before a meeting, but I continually had to break, slow-down and pass people on the narrow path. Kids were biking while giggling and gazing at the canal under the sun, and I was thinking, “Get out of my way, kids!”

In both situations, I put myself in an environment that caused frustration and a bad attitude, even though there was nothing actually wrong with the environment, itself.

A lot of times it’s not our surroundings that need to change, it’s our attitude. Like Dale Carnegie once said, “Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw mud, the other saw stars.” However, there is a case to be made for the importance of our environment in affecting our attitudes.

John C. Maxwell says it best:

 “Though we should always first examine our attitudes when we don’t enjoy circumstances, sometimes a change in situation is also in order. Sometimes a case of mismatched abilities, interests, personality, or values can be a major contributor to chronic failure…Evaluate yourself and your situation. If there is a poor fit, think about making a change.”


In my situation, the repeated failure was in my attitude and the poor fit was in the area of interests. I was interested in going fast, whereas the people around me were interested in leisure. By making sure I create my fast workouts in an environment that caters to high performance, I can avoid this frustration all together.

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Can you think of environments in your life that bring out bad character? Does the environment need to change or do you? Share in the comments below!

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