You may have heard that to succeed, you need to adjust yourself to the world around you. Examples:

“You’d better get used to it as that’s the way it is.” “To be happy, you must compromise.” “Don’t make waves!”

Yet, to succeed, you must take a different approach.

“Man succeeds because he adjusts his environment to him, not by adjusting himself to the environment.” — L. Ron Hubbard

You decide what you want and how you want it. You take an active role. You change the world around you.

Think of the most successful people you know. Do they mold themselves to fit in? Or do they change the world around them?

As well as determining your success, your ability to adjust your environment also determines your health and happiness.

“So long as an individual maintains his own belief in his ability to handle the physical universe and organisms about him and to control them if necessary or to work in harmony with them, and to make himself competent over and among the physical universe of his environment, he remains healthy, stable and balanced and cheerful.” — L. Ron Hubbard

Jack and Jill

Jack tries to get along and not cause trouble. His neighbor plays loud rock-and-roll music all night long, so Jack buys ear plugs. Jack hates leaving his apartment as the building lobby is full of boxes and junk; he just steps around the mess. His co-worker makes Jack pick him up for work each day with no compensation, “. . . since you drive near my house anyway.” Each year, he develops some kind of illness or needs an operation. After 25 years at the same company, Jack is only making $22 per hour, but he does not mind as his company gives him good health insurance. At the age of 51, Jack gets cancer and dies.

Jill moves into Jack’s vacant apartment and can’t sleep because of the loud music. She calls the neighbor and works out an agreement so the neighbor plays music all day while she works, but won’t at night. Jill convinces this neighbor and a few of the other tenants to spend a few hours cleaning up the lobby and the entry; they even wash the sidewalk and plant some flowers. Although Jill has earned several management promotions and pay increases at her company, she decides to start her own business and makes it successful. She soon buys the apartment building and takes over the top floor for herself. Jill is never ill and at the age of 78, still spends a few hours each week working at her company.

Obviously, Jack adjusts himself to the environment while Jill adjusts the environment to herself. Are you more like Jack or Jill?

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