The Ecology Map
I’m going to teach you something called ‘ecology’. Ecology is the study of how things impact on the world around you. Sometimes we get a really good idea about what it is that we might want to do or achieve in our lives and it’s really difficult to know in advance whether or not that thing actually is a good idea or not and some of you lose confidence at that point and then maybe don’t follow through on it at all. It could have been a cracking idea and you should have done it. In other cases, I’ve seen people follow through on a really bad idea, like a really stupid idea and then regret it afterward. I’m going to teach you a way to evaluate the decisions that you make and the goals that you set to see if it’s really a worthwhile thing for you to do or not.
Here is the study of ecology.
In writing this article, I have a blank piece of paper and I am going to make three circles. The first small circle is ‘you’. Now make another bigger circle around that circle and we are going to call that ‘others’. The final big circle is going to be called ‘the rest of the world’. Ecology works like this in the very centre there is you with your bright idea about what you want to do, and that bright idea could be mastering algebra and that is a brilliant idea. It could also be smoking your first cigarette and that is not a brilliant idea by the way, but I just want to use it as an example.
First of all, you ask yourself the question: “If I do this thing, is it good for me?”
Mastering algebra could be good for you in which case we would give it a tick. Smoking your first cigarette is it going be good for you? No, it’s a stupid idea!
The next circle that we have available is one for others in the world around you. We now have two things to check here: Is it good for you and is it good for others?
When you are mastering algebra, it could be good for you and it probably won’t do anything to particularly offend anybody else so we’ve got a double tick on that particular idea. If we take your first cigarette idea. In terms of is it good for others? This might depend on the network that you’re in at that particular point in time. I mean if you’re suffering from peer pressure and there are other people saying come on do it, it’s really a good idea maybe it would be good for them because it would back up the stupid idea that they’ve had to make them feel better about it. Even though ultimately, we already knew it was going to make you feel a heck of a lot worse.
The final circle is the rest of the world which you could refer to also as the planet or the universe. We now have three areas to check in here. Let’s say you wanted to master algebra:
Is it good for you? Yeah, probably would be.
Is he good for others? Certainly not going to cause them any other significant harm.
Is it good for the rest of the world? yeah, it’s probably okay.
We have three ticks which means that your goal is ecological and therefore you may proceed. It has a much greater likelihood of being successful on the basis that we got three ticks.
Let’s look back to the idea of smoking.
Is it good for you? No!
Is it good for others? It might be in the moment for your friends but later on when you have a family, and they have to put up with your smoking and breathing in your second-hand smoke then no it’s not going to be good for others.
Is it good for the rest of the world? Well, it depends on how global we go? We could potentially say the majority of the rest of the world wouldn’t care, but overall, if the whole world stopped smoking, we don’t probably live a little so overall with the smoking suggestion we’ve got at least two no-goes here.
As we check out the ecology and what that means is whilst your goal may be initially successful eventually there is a high likelihood that it will become sabotage, in that, the goal won’t work out as well for you as you had hoped or that at some point it will just stop working completely and you’ll just hit a bit of a roadblock with it.
Ecology is a really good way for you to begin to evaluate the decisions that you’re making in your life. It also helps to establish whether or not you should proceed in the way that you had planned or if you should proceed at all. Do make sure that you always run your decisions through the ecology map so that you can be sure to make good and worthwhile decisions in your future.
By Gemma Bailey