Movie Night, Schizophrenia, and Influence

“Nathan, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get those types of things out of my mind. Why would I choose to put them right back in?”

Those are the words of good friend of mine who has struggled with the worst mental illness known to man for which he is currently undergoing treatment. He was explaining to me why he chose not to watch a certain movie with the other patients in his unit; he was concerned about the intense scenes that the movie might contain, and concluded the explanation of his behavior with the quote above.

The movie was based on a children’s book.

Our minds are sponges that will soak up aspects of whatever environment we choose to place ourselves within. Scientists may argue over whether “nature” or “nurture” exerts a heavier influence upon the person you become. However, it is clear that both play a role in our personal development from the cradle to the grave.  The bottom line is this: Though you and I cannot control “nature,” the genes we were handed at our conception, we can have a massive impact upon the environment around us. No matter what you are trying to achieve, your environment can help or hinder your progress toward that goal. What you do to control the influence of your environment will affect your fitness.

The man I mentioned above reminded me about the strong influence that our environment can have upon us, and the solemn responsibility we all have to control that influence in any way we can, if we are to become the best versions of ourselves. He understood the potential negative influence that even a children’s movie could have on his mind, affecting his mental fitness and the man that he wants to become. The same powerful principle holds true when it comes to your physical fitness.

Ask yourself:

Who am I allowing to influence my fitness?

What influence are my reading material, the shows and movies I watch, and the people I surround myself with having on my fitness?

What positive changes can I make to improve the influence that my environment exerts upon me, so that my reading material, the shows and movies I watch, and the people I surround myself with increase my fitness motivation?

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