Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Enabling Environment

I was opportune to revise with my daughter for her end of year’s exams sometime last month. One of the subjects for her class, General Knowledge covered a bit on Agriculture basics – types of soil. We studied the 3 major types (Clayey, Loamy and Sandy) and their uses. Just like most of us were taught way-back then, Loamy is the preferred for planting. It’s not that the others can’t allow for some form of growth, but definitely not anything good compared with what the loamy would do.

In the same month, there was an e-mail forward I came across, about a Nigerian family in Britain who had kids that were performing outstandingly beyond what their ages could ordinarily accomplish in academics. My colleagues and I discussed this seemingly chance happening but the consensus was that their being in Britain, in such schools and with such tutors, brought out the best in them.

These facts buttressed a learning - We thrive best in an enabling environment. Our potentials, our dreams, our plans are actualized best when we are located in an enabling environment; like a plant in the appropriate soil. A common saying I used to know goes like this – Apple trees don’t grow in Lagos. That means, there is place for everyone to come out in full bloom. My take on this is this - make sure you are located in your soil (your enabling environment).

However, beyond the physical environment, there is the mind-environment and association-environment. These as well must be supportive. To a great extent we even have better influence on them than even the physical. We can choose what goes on in our mind by what we feed it with and what people influence us by the choice of our confidants and friends.

A challenge then, could be in knowing when we are not in an environment that would be supportive to our potentials/dreams/aspirations. Also, when we are not and cannot move for some reasons, what we need to do.

In more advanced agriculture, each type of soil still has further classifications. Good farmers know which of these would give the best harvest for each crop. But first, they must know which crop they intend to cultivate. Same with us, the crop could be our dream, our plan or our potential. A previous article (Be Better, Know your SWOT - ) encourages us to know our strengths, for therein lies our potentials. When we know our crop, it would be easy to tell if the soil would aid growth and productivity. If I dream to be an Olympics medalist in swimming, and there is no pool within my reach, that dream is likely to remain a dream. It’s either I travel regularly to where one is or I re-locate close to one. My challenge on this is for you to note your plans, begin to dream, discover your potential, then you can tell if where you are would help actualize them. If your environment won’t be enabling, then move.

There may be instances when we feel the timing or some other reasons won’t allow us move to our preferred physical environment. What do we do while we wait? We must keep our mind and association environment in top gear. In other words, these two must be “fertilizing” to our plans, dreams or potentials. Just like some fertilizers can be used to enhance the ability of the soil when not good enough.

The state of your mind must become conditioned to bring you to thrive. You need to feed it with information that would motivate and inspire. You can learn to shut out negatives by focusing more on what is positive and what you desire to be. For associations, we need to minimize interactions with those who put us down, who laugh at our dreams and spend more time with those of like minds, those who make us think beyond where we are to what we can become.

We need to get the environment right (mind and association included) to keep energies up, passions alive, focus strong, till we come to full bloom and achieve.

1 comment:

Topsie said...

Hmm...the power and capacity that the mind possesses is amazing when we feed it with positive info; and as for associations, many times we need to brutally cut off the negative and those who put us down if we're really passionate about our dream so we can garner all positive energies to achieve it.

Thanks for reminding us Barbie; keep up the good work!