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Thoughts proceed destination, current geography influences thoughts

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Thoughts proceed destination, current geography influences thoughts

By Douglas Vermeeren

Director of SUCCEED Research Center

It has been said that what we think about is what we will become. It can also be truly stated that what we think about comes from where we physically are.

In our research at the SUCCEED Research Center we have confirmed that our thoughts are highly effected by the things we surround ourselves with. The people, places, objects and yes, even entertainment that you surround yourself with does have a significant influence on your thinking patterns. (And of course, thinking patterns are the foundation of every deliberate result you will create.)

Everything you take into your mind, and associate with, will have a positive or negative influence on your thinking. If those activities and locations become regular habits the patterns of your thinking will follow them until you see them effect your external results.


What you surround yourself physically will make a huge difference on what you think about. Starting with your office space or place of work. Is it organized and clean? You may think this a little thing but your environment will effect your thinking. While in China I learned about the ancient system of aesthetics that goes even further than just keeping your workspace tidy. Feng Shui, which in Chinese means “wind/water,”  is the belief that by using the laws of heaven and earth you can draw positive energy to yourself. While I do not know exactly how it works I do know that when the areas that I work in are organized and peaceful my energy is better.

Along with locations that I work in the place where I go also have a significant bearing on my thinking. In my own personal experience I do a lot of traveling. With the speaking industry it seems I am almost always on the go. As I travel I am always trying to organize research I am currently involved or write my latest book. I especially noticed how different locations and environments influenced my thinking as I wrote Guerrilla Achiever.  I could feel my thoughts elevate when I was writing comfortably in a five star hotel in downtown New York versus when I was trying to balance my laptop on my knees in the busy airport lounges of various cities around the globe.

Free time

One quick note on how you spend your free time. First there is no such thing as “free” time. Every moment is an investment. Even the time when you are playing with your children or out to dinner with your spouse. That is an investment in something you value.  So what about an investment of your time in front of the TV for a few hours or on facebook for the night?

Studies have found that spending more than moderate idle time in front of the TV or computer screen becomes addictive. This activity begins to deteriorate the speed at which your mind can solve complex problems and also cope with human interaction.  Don’t believe us? Just try starting a conversation with someone in the middle of watching the latest, greatest reality show or checking their friend-count on facebook. Were they cordial and friendly?

You are the same way when you’re in their seat.

These kinds of behaviors do not contribute to success achievement in any way.


Spending time with certain individuals can also be positive or detrimental. When I was a teenager my mother spoke a great truth when she said, “Be careful how you choose your friends, one day you will be like them.”

You have to decide carefully which individuals will be positive influences, which will be negative and which not help you to find your best. (As a side note unlike many motivational gurus we are not suggesting you ditch those that don’t fit with where you are going – especially family members. Instead we are advising you be aware of your interactions with them and do not let them overpower your direction.)

There are many positive associations and groups that you can join that will give you power to get to your goals. Many of these groups will help you recognize possibilities that you have not yet seen. Many of them will introduce you to individuals who will have answers and solutions to issues you are facing.

Before deciding where you spend you time and with who and determine what you will do, maybe consider these few questions:

  • What is my current location?
  • Does it allow me to think with clarity?
  • How is it contributing to the goals I am trying to create?
  • How could it be better?
  • Do my entertainment and free time activities provide value?
  • Are you a “Netjunkie?”
  • What could I do with my free time that would add value to me?
  • Do my associates inspire me to want to be better?
  • How can I spend more time with people that can lead me higher?

In conclusion, my challenge to you is to think carefully about the things you are surrounding yourself with. When you find inspiring, organized, clean locations to be in your thoughts will also become inspired, organized, clean and clear. When your activities  have value your results will become more valuable. And when you associate with good people you can’t help but experience good things.

It sounds pretty simple, but it’s not that easy for many people to do. Fine tune these elements in your life today and you will see positive improvements. It is this kind of geography that will allow you to think of things you have never considered before. And when you begin to think like you’ve never thought before you will recognize possibilities you have never seen before.

And acting on those new possibilities is the beginning of becoming a top achiever.

Douglas Vermeeren is the director of the SUCCEED Research Center which is dedicated to sharing research on the systems that top achievers use to create lasting success. Over the last decade Vermeeren has interviewed more than 400 of the world’s top achievers, including business leaders, celebrities and professional or Olympic athletes. For more information and a FREE gift to increase your productivity go to

Written by douglasvermeeren

May 16, 2010 at 1:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Don’t like it that ‘netjunkie’ jumped out at me … prefer to think of it as ‘cyber-researcher’!! Mostly it is … but the ‘self-discipline’ of not being lured away down some ‘interesting’ time-consuming, non-productive track … now that’s the challenge!!!


    May 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    • Hi Rosalind,
      I like your term ‘Cyber-researcher’ as well. My only concern is that many people are not using the internet for research. Most are literally ‘netjunkies’ as they are addicted to using the internet for activities that give no real value in return. Self-discipline as you pointed out is the key and also the challenge.


      May 20, 2010 at 4:49 am

  2. I like the idea of “Net Junkies” It’s true I know so many of them. (and was even married to one for a while.) The internet can be worse than any drug.


    June 19, 2010 at 12:04 am

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