Becoming Better



We become what we consume.

What you read today becomes the raw material of your thoughts tomorrow. High-quality inputs offer high-quality raw materials to assemble in the future.

A person with an environment with rich sources of information makes better choices than someone consuming low-quality sources of information. Not only do they have better raw material, but they also have a broader perspective and a calmer mind.

The same applies to food. What we eat today is what we become tomorrow. All things being equal, the person that eats healthier will live longer and avoid more problems than someone who does not.

Who we spend time with matters.

My grandfather, like many, used to tell me you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

A lot of wisdom, like this, gets easily dismissed because it’s not entirely accurate. That’s unfortunate because it’s very useful.

By choosing who you spend time with today, you change your trajectory tomorrow.

Another bit of wisdom hiding in plain sight is that people tend to hang around people like themselves. That explains why if your friends watch TV every night, you eventually will too.

You can take this in all sorts of directions. If you spend a lot of time with people who are kind and thoughtful, you will act that way too.

If you spend time with people who share a certain politics, you eventually see things similarly.

It also explains why, if you start spending time with people who are unlike you in certain ways you want to cultivate, you will become like them. All of this happens without conscious awareness.

By choosing who you spend time with you are also choosing who you want to be. This is the environmental force at work on your subconscious and your biological instincts.

Here are three lessons you can take from this:

1. Curate your information diet to be rich and diverse. Follow people who think differently than you. Read old books. Remember that what you put into your mind today is the raw material you have to work with tomorrow.

2. Surround yourself with people whose default behavior is your desired behavior. If you want to run more, join a group that runs every day. Spend less time with people whose default behavior isn’t your desired behavior.

3. Design your environment knowing it will influence your future self. You can easily make undesired behaviors harder and desired behaviors easier.

Understanding the invisible influence of your environment allows you to turn your desired behaviors into your default behaviors.

(Every word of this is a Tiny Thought from Farnam Street)