Whether we like it or not, we are the product of our upbringing. For those of us who are introspective and want a deeper understanding of their own actions, then the simplest way is to consider those of our fathers and mothers: those whose life skills we’ve learnt so much from.
A friend was telling me the other day he rarely got any attention from his father as a child. However, when he started buying shares – something he knew his father was into – suddenly he got the attention he so craved. Since trading as a teenager, he’s now become a wealthy man, but it was less by design than necessity, to achieve a greater goal… one which he now feels so hollow.
We’ve all learnt patterns like this in some way. How many times do we hear new fathers and mothers saying “I’m sounding like my parents!”. It’s auto-pilot for many of us and only introspection can root out and, if wanted, change that modus operandi.
When I started looking at my life 30 years ago, I found many things I’d learnt from my parents that didn’t serve me well. It took a deep introspection to root them out and decide which of those I wanted to keep – a little of my mother’s empathy and my father’s charm, for example – as well as those which I felt didn’t serve me well.
I’ve touched on the ‘how’ in previous musings, but suffice to say I managed to rid myself of many of the unwanted traits I’d learnt, but didn’t like about myself. It was far from easy, but then I guess nothing of worth in life comes without hard graft. The question is: are we prepared to face and confront ourselves to reach our better self?
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