The Sunday Paper: Adjusting Your Environment

As we head into this new year and people are tending to set goals for themselves and resolutions of things they want to achieve, I was thinking about this for myself and what that means. I have set many lofty goals for myself over the years; some I have achieved and others I have not. But I am a big believer in setting high goals that may sound crazy to others. I think about it this way - in terms of adjusting the environment the way I see fit rather than adjusting to the environment presented to us. A lot of successful people have done this, and that is how the artist moves the culture forward - by taking the norm and adjusting it to his vision, not adjusting his vision to fit the norm. I always remember the scene in Men In Black where Will Smith was taking a test and everyone was having a hard time to write on the paper, as they had nothing to lean on, and he dragged the coffee table over and adjusted the environment to suit his needs. That kind of passed the test right then and there. I know I do the same in my own space whether I am somewhere temporarily or long term. I adjust it aesthetically and organize it according to my needs. 

A couple of more stellar examples of this come to mind as well. Take a guy like Elon Musk, for example. Love him or hate him, he definitely adjusted the environment to his vision. People probably said he was crazy to start an electric car company, and now all the top car manufacturers in the world are clamoring to produce electric cars. Or take Steve Jobs, for another example. I am sure he was told he was crazy for taking on the phone industry by creating the iPhone. But fast forward to today and 1 billion people use iPhones, and most other phones resemble the iPhone to some degree. I know people thought I was crazy for venturing down the path I took, but I wouldn’t change that for anything. And in my position if something doesn’t exist the way I want it, I can create it. And if I don’t like something about a product, I have the ability to adjust it and change it and do so. I try not to tinker too much with perfection as I believe sometimes you can over-correct something to the extent that you went past a good point. But wearing my own clothes, I get ideas on changes or adjustments and then implement those. It’s a constant evolutionary process.

So no matter how crazy or lofty or how many people say it can’t be done, set those goals high because you may just surprise yourself and prove a few doubters wrong in the process. And if you don’t manage to hit the target, your progress will be far higher than if you had just merely set lesser more attainable goals. So as we head into this new year, look to adjust the world around you to how you see fit, create a positive influence on the world, set an example for others and you may just surprise yourself. I know I could do more in this area myself and will strive to do so in this new year and beyond.

Daniel Patrick