The Perfect Imperfectionist – Step 6 of 11

Things I’m going to spend 80% of my time doing
Things I’m going to spend 20% of my time doing
Surrounding myself with technology that will make my life easier Making my life difficult by not using technology
Surrounding myself with people who make me feel good about myself Tolerating people who make me feel bad about myself
Surrounding myself with a support team who can make my life easier Making my life difficult by not using my support team
Becoming incredibly selfish Becoming incredibly self-less
Look forward and imagine a fantastic future Look back and reflect
Ensuring that my environments nourish me Getting the hell in and out

I’ve already praised Thomas Leonard as one of my greatest influencers and I’d like to acknowledge also the work of Andrea Lee, who collaborated with Thomas on so many projects.
The diagram above demonstrates that we all exist in multiple environments that can have a positive or negative effect on our self-esteem and confidence.
As we are taking these 11 steps together, we have previously looked at relationships, networks of support and physical tools to make our lives easier.
I’d encourage you to consider all SEVEN of the environments that Thomas referred to – and ask how best you nourish yourself in each.
For today, my focus is on the “nature” in which we live.
Travelling to and from Cornwall is time-consuming, expensive and often exhausting – but I continue so to do because of:

  • the relationship with Annie that is the cornerstone of my existence
  • the lovely HOME that we have created here – lived in (not a show house) and a sanctuary to us and our closest friends and family
  • the warmness of the town we occupy – Falmouth is such a nice place to live
  • the fantastic scenery, nature, ocean, wildlife, seasons and adventures possible in our county
  • my fantastic home office – not used as often as I would like – but there as a professional oasis when I need it

I find it hugely important to constantly be in environments that feed me.
Thomas extended this scope to include:

  • the ideas and influences we fill our minds with
  • the emotions we allow ourselves
  • the “shape” we are in physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually

Everything that we see, hear, taste, smell, touch – can contribute to our overall well-being.
And so we must constantly strive to exist in the correct environment.
At the risk of sounding old fashioned or cliched, a diet of gratuitous violence on computer games, trashy TV, poor literature, negative media, lousy friends, excessive consumption or “affleunza” will gradually wear down our sensibilities.
But remember that 20% of the time it can be fun to be bad – Thomas never proposed a super-race in the style of fanatics of some creeds and religions.
I’m just back from a 10-mile run along the South West coastal pathway – tired but invigorated by the experience. I’ll also feel less guilty now about how much I eat yesterday.
Balance in all things.
And to conclude Step 6 – whenever I find myself on an environment that, like a vampire of the soul, begins to devour my life-force, then I’m going to get the hell out of there just as fast as I can.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.