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One Track Mind

When Our Environment Limits The Change We Seek

When I lived in LA, I belonged to Gold’s Gym in Venice. Well, it’s probably more accurate to say that I was a member. I never really, fully “belonged.” Gold’s Gym is known for being where professional weightlifters train and for helping coin the name “Muscle Beach.” And I went there because it was the closest gym to my house.

So every morning, I would get up and walk over to Gold’s and lift weights. Monday was Chest and Triceps. Tuesday was cardio. Wednesday was Shoulders, Back and Biceps. Thursday was Legs and Friday was light cardio.

If you know me, you know I’m not all veiny and muscle-y like the other guys there. In fact, you might be surprised to know that I still go to the gym just about every day (I don’t necessarily look like I do).

On the left, that’s definitely not me.

I haven’t lived in Venice since 2013 and I’ve since joined a new gym. And my workouts have changed dramatically. It’s a wider mix. I’ll take a spin class. Or spend a whole workout just stretching. I’ll just go outside for a long run if it’s nice. I’ll even take a yoga class on occasion.

There are so many ways to get exercise.
It sounds obvious. But it wasn’t to me.

When I surrounded myself with yoked-up bronzed weightlifters, it seemed like that was the only way to do it.

Who you surround yourself with makes such a difference in how you see.

A few months back, I co-lead a Caveday workshop for people who wanted help with a career transition. What I noticed across the board, and in myself too, is that most people were looking for a lateral move. Moving from a current job to for another in a different company or industry.

Sometimes, the biggest transitions require unlocking a new way of thinking and unlearning the ideas that have been the “default” for too long.

When we surround ourselves with new kinds of people, new kinds of possibilities open.

If the people around you all have a full time job, maybe you need to find a group of people with multiple revenue streams. If your coworkers all hate their job and complain, maybe you need to find a culture of people who love what they do. If your friends think that you’re the smartest person in the room, how might it feel to find a room where you’re the dumbest?

Our brain tries to find shortcuts. It uses patterns we’re used to and cliches we’ve heard to jump to conclusions in understanding the world more quickly. That’s survival.

The danger in staying where we are, surrounded by the same people, thinking the same things, is that we’re missing opportunities to learn, grow, and experience something new.

And that’s how we begin to change.

Caveday is a company aimed at improving your relationship to work. We write regular posts on Medium and send out monthly newsletters with productivity tips, life hacks, and recommendations. Sign up for the mailing list here.

Jake Kahana is a cofounder of Caveday. Sign up for his personal emails, called “The Email Refrigerator” here.



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