Here’s the true secret for personal growth, professional growth, winning at sports or business, physical fitness, intellectual fitness, emotional fitness: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20.

Don’t be a product of your environment, shape it. The energy you invest or waste determines what you become and don’t become. Invest wisely, become wise. Invest foolishly, become a fool. Wasting time builds up psychological toxins that consume and corrupt unless they’re purged from the system. You become what you invest.

Personal and professional environmental disasters are the product of wasting time and energy on fools. There’s a broad definition of fool but here’s one – any one who intentionally wastes a golden opportunity. Here’s another – any one wastes time on team-corrosives, those whose sole purpose in life is to tear down what you’re trying to build. Here’s another – wasting time on juvenile activities but envying and hating those who are building.

The hardest thing to do is to stop wasting energy on foolishness.

A surfire way to disintegrate and shred any hope of building a team’s potential is wasting time on those who know how to build only one thing – conflict. Unresolved conflict is the leading cause of all team failure, all debilitating personal stress, and all regrets that result from it. Conflict-builders are psychological invaders guaranteed to lead any team to losing. Those who can’t build anything positive compensate by building conflict.

Conflict-builders are easy to pick out. They pollute your environment by littering junk and trash that, unless cleaned up, will toxify your spirit.