Recently I took a trip to Bali to attend a friend’s birthday party. The first few days, I stayed at this lovely villa with a plunge pool, large living and dining area and massive bedroom. I was relaxed, energised and at peace with my surroundings.
Then I moved hotels. My husband had some work to do and because his company was now paying for the accommodation, we had to move to a very different kind of hotel. This one had children. Lots and lots of children. And though I’m sure they are fun and cute to their parents, for some of us without children, there’s nothing worse than being surrounded by shrieking kids. I was beginning to be agitated by my environment. So, I left the hotel in search of a refuge to change my state.
Unfortunately, I was in the wrong part of Bali to escape the child infestation on my peaceful holiday. And I began to realise how important it is to choose your environments carefully. In NLP we say that you can’t fix a problem at the same level as it was created. So, this problem with my environment couldn’t be fixed by changing environments. I was meant to be changing my behaviour. And though I tried to relax at the pool (scream, shriek) or take a walk down the beach (scream, shriek, cry), I found that whatever behaviour I had, I was surrounded by my environment. And then I decided to change my behaviour and environment. I went back to the area where the villa was and hung around there for an afternoon.
Some people would say that ‘everyone’ would prefer the villa environment over a pool full of boisterous children. And I know that that generalisation doesn’t hold true. There are a lot of people who much prefer the child-infested chaos of slides, games and running around than a boring plunge pool at a villa.
I could have chosen to play with the children in the pool or at the beach. I could have chosen to enjoy their laughter and in their games. What I really needed though was peace. So, I took care of myself first and did just that.
On the last day, I had my fill of peace and relaxation and chose to spend my afternoon watching the kids play in the pool with their parents. It was a blast to watch the games children play these days that I used to play when I was a kid. And it was wonderful to partake in all of the horsing around and shrieks of delight when I was in my own mental environment that allowed me to do so.
When you feel like you need to change your environment to make things work in your life, first look to your behaviour and ask, “What else could I be doing to (change my state, reach my goal, overcome this situation) in this environment? Once you look to your behaviours, then make the adjustments in your environment that you need to.