Think and you shall become…

3 Feb

Scientists used to believe that we were born as blank slates. As brand new babies we had nothing to guide us until we started creating meaning from our environments and forming neural connections from our surroundings and the people and models in our lives. We know far more about neuroscience now, and from conception, the fetus’ brain is being formed in a manner that through the parents’ DNA, predisposes it to a certain temperament, personality, and even talents. Our genetics are powerful and they contribute 50% to who we are.

If half of who we are is outside of our genetics, however, how do we become the very individual, unique human beings that think, feel, and act in such different ways?

Well, we think, feel, and act in the ways that we learn how to think, feel, and act. Through repetition we create neural circuits in our brains that dictate how our brains will function and consequently, how we will feel, act, and develop patterns of behavior. Our caregivers modeled patterns of behavior and as young children, we watch and repeat. As parents you see this happening all the time. You say a derogatory word, not thinking about its impact, and the next day your child is walking around repeating it everywhere he goes. Like a case of Tourette’s!

The more we use certain areas of our brains, the more neurons we create there, and the stronger the pattern of behavior connected to those areas becomes.

Makes sense now how we want to be better about assessing what we’re doing and the thoughts that are leading us there. If we can do this, we have the ability to break the sequence by thinking something different and doing something different. In essence, we have to nurture what we most want to obtain– positive thoughts lead to positive feelings lead to positive actions.

Is your behavior effective? Is it getting you where you want to go and to who you want to be? If not, what are the thoughts you have? Thinking “I can’t do it,” “or “this is too hard” will lead you somewhere. Where do you think that this? Certainly not to a confident, determined, “failure is not an option” type of person!

Buddha said “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.”
Think the same thing over and over again and you will become that thing.
You can become the other thing. Nurture the nature you want to expand on and nurture the thoughts that will create new connections to become the person you want to be.

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