This all sounds so cliche, isn’t it? I know. Although we tend to be less conscious about this basic role of life: if you develop new habit, you start to look at yourself differently, possibly get into new environment, and eventually it changes who you are. Ergo, your behavior shaping your personality. Why are we not more aware of it’s advantages? I mean shouldn’t we just be more “mindful” in our everyday life? Imagine a world where we start with this mindfulness from age zero?
I tend to think a lot about motherhood. And one of my biggest fear is that I won’t be able to mind everything what my kid can be shaped by. My family tried to make me learn the basic things, although some still had gone wrong. I am -without mental effort – seems like forever will be sitting in absence of a straight back… just to start with the simple examples.
It is so overwhelming how your environment is having a giant effect on you. I used to freak out of the idea to let a child grow up at the same table with me. Let me explain it to you: I do make food disappear way quicker then it is appropriate. When I was reflecting on why, I realized that it comes from my early ages 7-12. That time whenever I could I was always outside with best friends from morning till night. Our moms used to call us in for lunch and somehow I wanted always to be the first returning so I bolt-down the food every single time. I did ended up being the first back thou. Although I guess I haven’t won much… as this gave side-effect as it became an automatic bad habit of mine. Even 20+ years later still with me. If I don’t put mental effort into it, it is unstoppable. Isn’t it just so scary how you can ruin your life in early ages? Ok, no it is a bit exaggeration, but seriously how can parents do this without freaking out? Knowing everything around their kids shaping a human being into a new personality whom we will all share this earth with. They will absolutely be the responsible for the world after we left… and we are “controlling” their current environment and shaping them by so many tiny stuff around… isn’t it just super fascinating??! By the way, are we conscious about this basic rule of life this much? Is it still cliche for you?
Well you can say this is still not rocket science nor even totally new observation. So far what I am discussing here!?? You grow up, learning from your environment, that shaping your habits and eventually your behavior. As simple as it is. Trick comes from here.
So what I have learned from travelling and living in many continents is that I can behave extremely different. And as it was said: behavior shapes your personality, not necessarily the other way around. So I can became a new person, almost always whenever I am in a new environment. I not even intend to do this. Without mental effort kind of automatic process… scares me a bit to be honest.
I guess finally I get it why. Getting a new habit and behavior in our lives changes who we are. One simple example is for a year in a house where I lived I had to put up with cockroaches. So my Canadian roommate got panic attacks when she seen one. Therefore I had to be the one taking care of the situation every single time it happened. Approximately, like 5 times a day. I learned to behave accordingly and manage it as had no other way to behave. We can not be screaming there in shock both… can we? :D So it resulted after a few months in a new personality as I kind of instantly appeared to be and even felt strong and confident in this “fearful” situation. Before it was impossible to me to become someone who is handling any bugs or spiders this way. So it’s a serious thing guys, ok? :D That’s what environment and continues everyday actions resulted into.
Although 2 years later, I cry out loud for help instantly, if I see one again. No control anymore… I am back to my regular habits, and my less strong -in these cases- personality because that circumstances had been dissolved. This example is just the top of the iceberg, not even that huge effect in someone’s life. I just appear so different. Seems like even if I do not want to – according to the place/situation – I end up someone else.
Obviously just trying to paint the big picture with these somewhat funny examples but the phenomenon is real and serious. That’s what I wanted to highlight here. I have tones of other examples. Will dig up some more deep for you guys, I promise. Until: Isn’t this whole thing scary a bit?
Well, it can be a good thing thou! As we can practice mindfulness and get control over the factors changing us, right? You know what they say, what you read today will change your mind and became your personality tomorrow.
So let’s be conscious and learn from this post: as now I am in the edge of getting into a new habit, and trying to start a business what can potentially help young people across West-Africa, I am in absolute need of being more mindful about my behavior and environment.
What can someone do consciously to enable a positive change in one’s life? I have chosen the followings so far:
- get more knowledge: read books/articles, watch videos or listen to podcasts like Jordan Harbinger discussing with Benjamin Hardy about ‘What to do when willpower doesn’t work”. They actually talk about the same phenomenons then I touched in this post but obviously way more professionally.
- practice new habits: I try to write every single day to develop better storytelling skills and to discuss some important topics from my heart with you all.
- ask advice: best way to know where you are, when you have externals to feedback about your skillset and help you with honesty.
- education: actually looking into a journalism course, but not yet started…
Am I on the good way? What do you think? Do you have any further ideas what conscious effort I can make to shape my personality through new habits/influence/environment into what I will need to reach my goal? Please share you advice with me here in comments or in any of my contacts.