Landscape Your Life On Sandown Seafront

Life Design Action: Landscape Your Life On Sandown Seafront


I say it all the time on my workshops, I’ve said it a bazillion times on this blog and I will keep saying it to myself again and again:

“We are the average of the five people we spend most time with.” (Jim Rohn)

Because it is SO SO true.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you and you WILL become inspired. Surround yourself by people who are depressed and they will depress you. Landscape your life with people who are passionate and action-driven and YOU will not escape their infectious enthusiasm. Live in an environment of limitation, guilt and shame … and that too will infiltrate your soul.

The House of Bethan

Today I sat on Sandown seafront with my journal. The sun was warm. The coffee was oversweet. An old man sat next to me on my picnic table and smoked a cigarette. The smoke wafted and jerked in the air; caught in my nostrils and throat. I didn’t mind.  Just sat there, letting the sun gather on my coat, listening, watching, breathing.

Sandown isn’t a seafront I usually frequent. In fact, I’d never sat there before. I’d never sat on that seat or drunk from those mugs or heard the tinny radio on the kiosk playing. It was a totally different landscape. And now that the sun had finally started to shine after all the darkness and rain, it felt as though the world it was shining on was a different world than before.

Like reality had altered somehow and now the Sun thought he could just come back out, stick his hat on and everything would be the same.

It wasn’t.


If the old man beside me was the Sun, I would have said to him in a low, low voice, “There’s a lot of water under the bridge.”

 Old Man Sun’d take a long, slow drag on his roll up. “I know.” He’d pause and stare at the ocean pools on beach, then add, “Its been a while.”

And I would have breathed in his smoke passively; pulled it deep into my lungs with the distant longing of someone who has enjoyed that feeling in their time.

“I’ve changed,” I’d say after a while. “The world has changed.”

“How?” Old Man Sun would say.

I’d sip my coffee, scold my lips …

 “You’ve come back at a time of massive transition,”

… recoil at the sweetness, put down my cup.

“In three weeks times my family/home environment will have changed beyond recognition; the work landscape I’ve been used to is also undergoing some massive shifts; day to day activities over the next five months are going to be focused on very different things and hence the people I’ll be exposed to will change too. And besides all these personal transitions, there are people I’ve known for a long time now moving; shifting; evolving; growing and facing massive changes and challenges with their own lives. It makes me feel unsettled.”

“Realities are shape-shifting?” Old Man Sun squints at the sea.

“Shape shifting everywhere.”

“And so you need to Landscape.”

I would frown at that. By this point I still wouldn’t have even looked at Old Man Sun. All I’d really know of him would be the shape of his coat, the smell of his cigarette and the depth of his voice but I’d sense he isn’t the landscape gardener type. “What do you mean Landscape?”

“At times of transition Environment is vital. In times of transition we can either grow or shrink. At these times its paramount to surround yourself with people and qualities that inspire you to move in the right direction.”

Then he’d pause.

And I would pause.

And I would think … what qualities in people inspire me? Then I’d probably scribble a few down in my journal. Words like … “Knowledge, passion, creativity, drive, aspiration, limitlessness, vision, action, adventure, excellence.”

And then, as if Old Man Sun could read my mind, he’d continue, “Find company in people who have passion and you will grow in your passion. Find company in people who inspire you and you Will BE Inspired. Find people who have as much purpose or ideally MORE purpose and drive than you have. If they are flying – you will fly. Soak yourself in their energy. Bathe in it. Absorb it. Whilst life will always change and transitions will happen, you can always design your influences.

Environment is everything.”

At this point – in real time – a song came on to the radio. It was “Alright Now” by Free.

Me and the old man listened in silence, smoked his cigarette together.

Then the song finished.

The old man ground his fag out in the ashtray, stood up and shuffled away.

The House of Bethan

This week and for the next few weeks my intention is to invite the qualities that inspire me into my life.

I am publicly inviting/daring the Universe to send me people who have more passion, vision and drive than I can possibly imagine. I want to meet them, to know them and be energized by them. I have no idea who they will be; young, old, human, mineral, dream people or cyber folk. When they turn up I’ll report back on here.

In the meantime, what is your environment like? Who are your 5 inspirations?

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