Day 18: Place & Environment...Am I In Sync With My Surroundings?

DAY 18: SELF-ASSESSMENT – Place & Environment…Am I In Sync With My Surroundings?

Welcome to Day 18 of the 20/20 Life Vision Challenge! Place & Environment

Unlock the worksheet for today’s exercise by clicking here.

Today, you have on tap the 6th of 7 assessments – Place & Environment – with a particular focus on how in tune you have been with your surroundings over the last five years.  The overview of 7 assessments is below, illustrating what is completed, where we are today, and what is to come in the following days.

  1. Career Assessment (Day 13)
  2. Personal Finances Assessment (Day 14)
  3. Personal Aims & Hobbies Assessment (Day 15)
  4. Health Assessment (Day 16)
  5. Relationships Assessment (Day 17)
  6. Place & Environment Assessment (TODAY – Day 18)
  7. Spirituality Assessment

Do you believe that we actually get to choose our parents, as well as where and when we are born to this life?  It is an interesting topic, and one that is very hard to “prove” in a traditional, scientific sense.  I do believe in that, as a facet of our karma and destiny – we come into this life with a specific vision and purpose, into scenarios and environments that give us opportunities to manifest that vision as we become conscious of it.  Sometimes we move into our truth through intuitive guidance from elders (ie. highly evolved parents) and living in tune with nature, which tends to align us towards our purpose.  Regardless of what you believe, there is no denying the power that our environment has on our psyche and productivity.  By environment, I’m referring to everything from where you live, who you live with, the water and air quality of your city, what your study, work and rest areas are like, how often you travel to new places, your method of commuting to work and how much time you spend outside, away from technology and closer to nature.  In this modern tech-centric era, with travel and relocation more accessible than ever, and now over 50% of the world’s population living in cities rather than rural areas (for the first time ever, we crossed that threshold, just within the past 1o years), the dynamics of Place & Environment for most people are quite different from before.  We seem to have both more and less choices at the same time.

The goal of today’s lesson is to prompt your awareness regarding the impact of Place & Environment (PE – Goal Type #5 from Day 5’s lesson) on your own health, happiness and productivity.  What goals have you had in this area over the past five years, and how much of a priority did you make it to improve or explore new environmental factors (ie. moving to a more spacious apartment, that has more natural sunlight)?  Personally, I know that for me, travel is an essential ingredient for me to sustain my creativity and global awareness.  Going to new cities and countries is less about seeing tourist sites – although that can also be useful – and more about tapping into different collectives and seeing how human beings in different parts of the world developed their societies, given whatever resources they had and cards they were dealt.  This process opens my eyes, and allows me to bring fresh energy and ideas back home.  I feel like a new, and different, more evolved person every time I return from travel.  Interestingly, in spite of all my extensive global travels, I have always lived, studied and worked in or around New York City, for all 41 years of my life.  So I decided to take some input here from my friends who have experienced living and working in at least several different cities.

The flip side of this, and another interesting debate, is the idea that “wherever you go, there you are”; we can never escape ourselves, who we are and what makes us tick.  Moving from New York to California may give us a change of weather and culture, but it won’t necessarily make us a more fulfilled individual – not to say that it can’t be a contributing factor, but people often put too much weight and hope behind environmental changes, while not often enough taking responsibility for their unhappiness.  Just the way we like to blame other people to avoid accountability, we do the same with places.  Let us take a stand against this kind of “passing of the buck” approach, and urge ourselves (that means, all of the I’s that exist inside of you – remember, from Day 10 – Mapping out your Internal World?) to take ownership of our lives and choices when it comes to our current, personal environments.

A special thank you to Dali Singh – who has studied, lived and worked in at least five different cities – as she helped me develop today’s assignment.


  1. What changes have taken place in your PE since 2011?  (ie. you moved, downsized your home, moved in with a new roommate, bought more plants for the house, etc).
  2. Who do you live with right now, and how does that affect your lifestyle and motivation?
  3. Are you truly happy where you are or do you stay there because you are afraid of change (or because this is all you’ve ever known)?
  4. Do you authentically connect to the culture in your town or city?  Do you feel like you’re surrounded by like minded people or that you can get your social needs met in this environment (depending on which ones are priority) in terms of friends, family, dating life, night life, hobbies, nature, music/art scene, affordability, etc)?
  5. Do the climate elements (ie. humid, dry, rainy, etc) suit you here, physically and mentally)? One way of knowing is through your moods, health, and general level of inspiration/connection (ie. some people need water/ocean to feel at home and at peace, others need mountains, others need bustling city life with lots of entertainment to thrive).  
  6. What goals did you have for PE since 2011? [List up to 5.]  To what degree did you meet those goals (Use the CGOs – Common Goal Outcomes from Day 7)?  Explain why for each.

Good luck with this one.  Tomorrow is Day 19, wherein we will explore the final (and in my view, most important) assessment before transitioning into the final 10 day stretch – Phase 3: Vision Creation.  I hope that you comprehend how important it is to take stock of where we are truly at – right now – and also how we got to this point, before we delve into what we want in the future.  That is why we spend 20 days – in Meditation, Discovery and Assessment – preparing for the Vision Creation phase!

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