So much of the secret to a good life is just to shape your environment.

If there’s a river flowing, and you need water for your crops, you could just cup your hands together and transport the water. A few ounces at a time, expending effort with each trip, to bring the water where it’s needed. Or, more wisely, you can shape your environment. Dig a small canal off the river so water flow is diverted to your field. The water is flowing anyway.

Not everything you want to create must be created through conscious effort. If you shape your environment correctly, things will grow. My children are all avid readers. Why? Because I filled the house with books and didn’t otherwise intervene much. I read whenever they asked, but never forced it. I let them sneak a few extra minutes awake beyond their bed time as long as their excuse was book-related. I shaped an environment, and things grew.

Think about what you want. Now, don’t think about what you need to get it – think instead about what kind of environment that thing needs to thrive.

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