There is one significant factor that is holding you back from achieving your next level of success in any area of your life. The culture of your environment can either push you towards your goal or pull you away from it. If you are in the same environment today as you were a year ago, chances are your life has not dramatically advanced forward.

Now you might be successful in your current context whether you hold a high position in your company or you just graduated at the top of your class, but you’ll never achieve past that level until you shift the culture around you. Would you agree that a high school freshman who hangs out with middle schoolers would not succeed as well as a high school freshman who hangs out with seniors at the top of their class? Of course! Although they still “advanced” to the next level, they won’t achieve at that level. So why wouldn’t this same concept apply to other aspects of life?

Someone who hangs out with friends that eat fast food all day and go out for drinks Thursday through Saturday is much less likely to be in great health than someone who hangs out with a group friends who have a health conscious culture. A college athlete who just got drafted to play professionally wouldn’t continue to practice with his or her college peers but instead practice with their new teammates to quickly pull his or herself up to the standard.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t remember where you came from, but in order to start living your ideal life, your current environment needs to become just a memory. Your past IS NOT your future. Your past environment is there for the times you return to share your story and to show others that they can achieve what you’ve achieved.

Shawn Stevenson, bestselling author & creator of The Model Health Show, and Eric Thomas, world renown motivational speaker, dives deeper into the topic of how your environment is the most influential factor in determining your success in the latest episode of podcast. Check out the video below to see them drop knowledge bombs that can take you to your next level!