Day 13: Are Our Traits Innate or Learned?
Happy Friday, everyone! How has your week been?
Have you been practicing shifting your focus and mastering your thoughts?
It's not easy but it does get easier as you practice - just like learning a new language, play a new musical instrument, or learning a new sport.
- You can practice positive thinking as much as negative thinking.
- You can practice worrying about the future or the past as much as being present.
- You can practice being grateful as much as being resentful.
- You can practice being kind as much as being selfish.
- You can practice understanding as much as being ignorant.
- You can practice being patient as much as rushing.
- You can practice being calm as much as being easily frustrated.
- You can practice being easy-going as much as being difficult.
- You can practice forgiving as much as holding grudges.
- You can practice loving yourself as much as hating yourself.
You have the choice and the power to 'choose' who you want to be and how you want to be, and practice that until it becomes a part of who you are.
Have you ever paid attention to your traits or patterns?
Can you identify which traits are learned and which traits are innate?
Sometimes we think the traits or the patterns that we have now are innate, but many of them are actually learned.
> The good news is we can always unlearn and relearn.
Have you ever paid attention to the way your parents/caretakers communicate? How do they deal with conflicts? How do they argue? How do they deal with frustrating events in life? How do they love themselves? How do they deal with their unpleasant emotions? How do they treat others?
Some traits we subconsciously mirrored from our parents/caretakers.
Some traits we subconsciously learned as part of our coping mechanism.
Please take a moment to write down what you find out in your journal:
- What traits did you pick up from your parents/caretakers? Which traits did you learn as part of coping with some of your parents/caretakers' traits?
- Which of these traits would you like to continue carrying on within you? Which of these traits would you like to change?
The first moment I learned that we can practice and shape our thinking and emotional muscles was when my dad withheld from giving me the toy I wanted. He said he wanted me to practice being patient. He told me that I would not be patient overnight and he wanted me to practice it now because it will be a very valuable trait in life. From one toy after another, one event after another, he would push me to practice shaping my thinking and emotional muscles.
Not only did he encourage me to practice being patient, he also encouraged me to practice using my own brain. Every time I had a question - whether that's from my school work or about a new gadget dad bought - he would never give me the answer right away.
"I want you to practice using your own brain. If I keep giving you the answer every time you ask, you'll never practice using your own brain. I want you to practice it until it becomes part of you to always think with your brain first before asking others (or the internet) for answers."
These two examples are to show you that we are really in charge of not just our actions, but we also have the power to change the pattern of our thinking. We can change the way we think. And with that, we can change how we feel and how we act & respond to situations.
But you have to practice.
What do you want to become?
Are you ready to practice until you become that?