Friday, 3 October 2014
October 3, 2014 Chautauqua
Scientists and researchers have told us that we’re victims of our genetics, that the neural pathways in our brains become fixed, and that we are born with a set point (level) of happiness and optimism.
Yet, newer studies show beyond any doubt that not only can our genetics been altered by our environment/emotions/thoughts, that our brains are very plastic and our neural pathways can be changed or created at will, and our happiness/optimism set points are not set in stone.
If we are able to change ourselves - even below the cellular level - why do some people seem incapable of changing, even when their existence depends on it? Why do some people go around like they have a dark cloud over them wherever they go, spreading doom and gloom?
We are - from very early childhood - encouraged to try new foods, new activities, learn new information and skills, go on new adventures, develop new habits and more.
That is a good thing and important for growth. However, everyone is unique and what might appeal to one person will turn off another. What may work like a charm for you, may not for me.
As you try new activities, learn new skills, and go on new adventures, which ones do you want to repeat?
The ones that most closely align with your innate personality.
Someone who is naturally rhythmic and is always humming may benefit from activities such as learning how to play a new musical instrument, learning a new style of dance, or being introduced to a different form of music than they normally listen to.
On the other hand, they probably would not be drawn to activities that require them to do complex mathematical tasks, or that require them to remain completely motionless for long stretches of time.
While there is much we can change about ourselves, the best and most lasting changes, are those that “come naturally” to us.
Could it be that optimism and pessimism - and thus the secret to success - have more to do with how “naturally” you are living your life, than about what is happening around and to you?
Read the complete issue of The Chautauqua here.
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