There is no one ‘key’ to achieving happiness. Like everything else in life, achieving happiness requires a multitude of ingredients. One of the most important ingredients is inner peace, which allows for contentment. Another is love, both having people who love you and, more importantly, having people that you love.

However, what most people overlook entirely is what plays a critical role.

It is fine to have all the ingredients necessary for happiness, but it is the oven you bake those ingredients in that matters just as much. Your surroundings, your environment, impact you more than you may realise.

Usually it is subtle things we don’t consider too serious that affects our personality, such things also affects our children, even before they are born.

In his recent TEDxGaborone talk Timothy Maurice Webster refers to the fact that the type of music you listen to, the movies and stories you watch, the media messages, the books you read influences your narrative and perspective.

What I didn’t know that Timothy talks about is that they type of music you listen to (even a year) before a woman fell pregnant and/or during her pregnancy affects the genes of the child. That’s why women (and couple) are encouraged to listen to symphony music during pregnancy.

The type of relationship you have with you partner during pregnancy affects the genes of the unborn child. If you have a stormy and difficult relationship, the tension and stress may be transferred to the child.

Study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children’s genes.

New finding is clear example in humans of the theory of epigenetic inheritance: the idea that environmental factors can affect the genes of your children.

Genetic changes stemming from the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors are capable of being passed on to their children, the clearest sign yet that one person’s life experience can affect subsequent generations.

Watching depressing news all the time affects your personality. The more you watch The Sopranos or The Godfather for a long time, you tend to believe that the mob boss is this tower of a person, who if he was not running his family he would be the CEO of GE or something. If all you listen to first thing in the morning while stuck in traffic is callers complaining on a talk radio show, this will affect your mood by the time you get to work.

What you spend time on, you assimilate.

When building your business, what type of environment are creating and contributing to your staff, your customers and your community. Are creating a good and inspiring mood around your business.

Are the customers who interact with you, your business, your website, your social media messages leave inspired or do you leave depressed?

Customers are attracted to uplifting, comfortable and inspiring environments, and vice-versa, if you are constantly whining and negative, you will attract similar customers.

Negativity if channeled and used appropriately can be a catalyst for significant change. But prolonged negativity not supported by efforts to direct it create change is merely intellectual debate.

To build a positive environment, we need to be sensitive to music we listen to, the programs we watch on TV, the radio show we listen to, media messages we expose ourselves to, the newspapers and magazines we read, the colours we chose.

Change your environment, change your personality.

The small things we associate with have a significant impact in our lives.

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