1 factor that can dictate SUCCESS or FAILURE: You can control it.
The story of Pygmalion is about a mythological sculptor who lived on the island of Cyprus where the women were not virtuous.
Unimpressed, Pygmalion therefore decided to create the perfect sculpture.
Through prayer, he then convinced the Gods to turn the sculpture into a real person.
This was subsequently called the Pygmalion effect.
Today, the Pygmalion effect is interpreted as the phenomenon whereby higher expectations lead to an increase in performance.
The Pygmalion study, also known as the Rosenthal-Jacobson study, showed that if a teacher was led to expect an enhanced performance from a group of children, then the groups performance was genuinely enhanced.
The authors concluded that you can create this self-fulfilling prophecy by influencing expectations.
How this affects you
“You are who you hang around with”- JT Foxx
It may not be obvious to begin with but we are all subject to the Pygmalion effect in some way or another.
Think about how you speak? What language you use? What about your accent?
This is just a simple example of how your environment affects your behaviour.
If you change your environment you will find that your accent and how you speak will change to match the new setting.
Why this is important
“If you want to be great you must first walk side by side and hand in hand with people who are great. If you want to be happy, hang around with happy people. You want to be successful, be in the midst of people who are successful. You want to be rich, find out what poor people do and don’t do it!”- Nido Qubein
This effect is not just confined to your speech and accent.
Think about your current condition. If you are overweight, it is highly likely that many of your friends and colleagues are also overweight. Do you think this a coincidence?
If you really wanted to be concerned, think about your finances. Simply take the average income of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, outside of the family, and you will get a surprisingly accurate figure. Maybe not to the penny but certainly a good ballpark estimate.
This is real life Pygmalion effect in action and the majority of people have no idea they are being influenced this way.
Your surroundings and the people you spend time with will shape every aspect of your life. Finances, health, relationships, aspirations, even your views on current affairs.
We see further evidence of this effect in action when we look at the world of sport.
Many of the greatest sprinters have come from Jamaica. A small island in the Caribbean with a population of less than 3 million people. Putting cynicism to one side for a moment, how has Jamaica produced a disproportionate number of world class sprinting champions?
The same ‘coincidence’ occurs with long distance marathon runners. However we need to cross the Atlantic and go to Kenya where the Kalenjin tribe has produced so many world class marathon runners that statistically this is unlikely to be a random occurrence.
Obviously genetics, training regimes and other factors will play a part but there are plenty of people with seemingly ideal genetics and all the training facilities at their disposal who never fulfill their potential.
The importance of environment is all too often overlooked.
If you train with better athletes it raises your own performance. You are continually pushed to improve. You see what’s possible. You feel obliged to show results to be accepted which pushes you to even greater heights.
Similarly, if you around successful people, you will take on the characteristics that made them successful. You will model their behaviours and routines. You will focus how they focus and do what they do.
Successful people hang around with other successful people so you will expand you network and increase the chances that you will find that person who will have just the thing you are looking for. A connection, some knowledge, expertise or experience.
And the best part is that it really doesn’t take much effort as it all occurs on a subconscious level.
Unfortunately the reverse is also true. Research has shown that children brought up in high conflict homes tend to have increased conflict in their adult lives.
The negative consequences are further demonstrated in the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’, where low grade school offences are punished with incarceration. One imprisoned, the criminal environment will have a profound effect on the person and they are more likely to commit violent crimes.
Change yourself by changing your surroundings
“If your environment is not to your liking, change it”- Napoleon Hill
The great news is that you have the ability to control your environment. You just need to decide what it is you want. Then you need to make conscious efforts to create the circumstances that are conducive to that aim.
You will likely aspire to what 97% of people don’t have. Therefore stay away from the 97%. Don’t do what they do. Don’t use their language. Don’t use their reasoning or their excuses.
Select an area of your life you want to improve whether it be your physical health, your financial circumstances, your relationships or anything else. Look to find a selection of people who have achieved what you want to achieve and try to engage and connect with them regularly.
I will be publishing an article on Mastermind Groups and the powerful effect they can have on your aspirations and achievements. Be sure to follow me so you don’t miss it.
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