Who are you? Everyone is different from birth. Lots of things that happen to us can change our perception of ourself. People around us expect us to be like them and as a child, we often don’t know any better. We all have different kinds of potential and that potential helps define our purpose in life. We often are so busy responding to the demands put on us by the outside, we have little time or opportunity to discover who we really are inside. Often we are caught up in doing what we think we should be doing but not really what reflects our purpose in life and uses our unique talents and abilities. Sometimes this is reflected an adolescent rebellion or in a midlife crisis and others don’t discover this until they are facing retirement.
Social interaction is crucial to children learning language. Watching a video or listening to an auditory version is not enough. Are children becoming autistic because people in our world are becoming less and less involved? What about a good old fashioned conversation or a satisfying read? Being unable to interact with others is a very real problem and I can see the day when children have virtual play dates? How removed from reality is this? Will we all sit home and rely on clouds and the internet to keep us in touch? Will the ethers be doing our talking? It will no longer be necessary to read or write as computers will communicate for us just by talking and ultimately will thoughts and images not words be used to share ideas?
This just started out as a blog about how children need human contact to learn and ultimately to thrive. Scarey isn’t it? For example, someday people will not sign their names, not just because they did not learn cursive writing; but because reading and writing are no longer considered necessary. We have done this since the dawn of the machine age and eliminating the human factor in creating things that we need and use. Is it possible we are also eliminating the good vibrations that many skilled, dedicated craftsmen and craftswomen put into their work.
Once you’ve met your peak. Once you have met your goals. Don’t give up. Learning is a life long process and it doesn’t end until you are at “Heaven’s” door. Once you have the motivation, you will never give up. Life continues to unfold as you know more and more. This way you’ll never be a bore. I have not stopped and I never will.
Many people once they reach the “mountain top” begin to slide down the slippery slope toward life’s ending. Whatever goal they achieve, they may say to themselves, “Is that all that there is?” and if they get back the answer, “Yes,” they give up and tread water for the rest of their lives until they get tired of doing it and sink into the throws of life’s end.
For me death is not an ending, it is a transition. I prefer to call it that because I believe that life goes on in another way when you reach it. I realize that transitioning can happen at anytime and for many it comes too early and for others, too late. I don’t like to keep my brain busy with thinking about it.
Sometimes it is better to focus on the present moment and enjoy what happens. For example, a person with early memory problems may enjoy a phone call or reading a card; but then not remember everything that was talked about. Should family and friends stop communicating with this person because they will not remember all of what is said? My answer is, “No.” There is still pleasure in the moment. Why deny them that?
For the person above the pleasure of learning “new” things happens over and over. Why deny them that pleasure. Why deny yourself the pleasure of learning new things or of seeing things in a new way? Holding too strongly onto the “old” can deny yourself the pleasure of the “new”. Who knows what is left to learn? Learning new things is known to keep your brain young. Sharing the joy of learning can bond people of any age. Why be a “bore” or a “stick in the mud”. Especially to yourself!
Rediscovering your self is a process that you go through many times in your life. You may think that you already know who you are and then you discover what you really are is really someone else. Have you become society”s conception of what you ought to be. Make your own plan, forge ahead blindly not knowing where you are going but knowing you have the freedom to do so.
Meet your soul, the person you were meant to be, not letting other people or other things determine who you are. Do you not know what you want. although you may know what you do not want. Unfortunately the unconscious only understands positive statements and we waste a lot of time having negative thoughts and not converting these negative thoughts into positive ones. We don’t want to be disappointed so we warn ourselves that we must protect ourselves against losing things that have come to mean a lot to us.
Most of us were warned against having a “big head” as a child or even as an adult and this prevents us from promoting ourselves. Fortunately or unfortunately men more than women are encouraged and reinforced for creating a name for themselves and for getting respect from others. Think of the accomplishments a man can line up: school board president, kindly old physician, preacher, evangelist, solid businessman. Someone whose opinions and comments count.
Some of us have been encouraged to step back and let others have the limelight. “Pride goeth before a fall.” A male “expert” often gets more recognition than a female “expert”. We think for “the chosen” to have powers, others must shirk or shrink from the limelight.
Our self-confidence is often so fragile that we can become depressed and procrastinate and feel doomed to fail. We think that there is no room in the inn for us and we must settle for the stable. We spin our wheels and get nowhere.
Everyone is important just as every child is precious. Do you not think that your grandchild or son or daughter is or was precious. Their eyes, their nose, their mouth were perfect. Every saying they made or thing that they did or created was or is precious. Something to be cherished and remembered. What happened to you? When did you stop being a cute little kid? God’s or nature’s perfect gift.
Self confidence and courage do a lot to keep a person from having cold feet about what they want to accomplish. Most of us suffer from the that we can’t debilitating have or do what we want so we stop wishing and visualizing the perfect future for us.
Sometimes we focus on one objective that was chosen by ourselves as an acceptable one or by others for us to the exception of all else. Remember when we free to explore all outlets of life back when your artwork or other creations were considered to be significant and not a waste of time. Yet you began to work harder and harder to meet the one goal that you thought was achieveable whether you liked it or not.
The opportunities are endless if you believe in their existence. Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others limit you. Are you the friend everybody likes because compared to you they are successful in life? “Oh, woe is me”, can be an endless litany and those who listen to it can become tried of it eventually. When should you start discovering your real self? THE TIME IS NOW!
Do you keep a low profile. Do you wait for others to celebrate you life landmarks and they never do? Did you miss your graduation? because it was too much pomp and circumstance and you saved everybody the hassle of coming to it. I have my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; but I don’t know what my academic colors are because I didn’t go. I didn’t feel I should make everyone make the trip back as when I finished I was no longer on campus.
Only two people were invited to our wedding, the witnesses. I don’t believe I have ever celebrated my anniversary with a special date night on the town. Is it bad to blow your own horn? I bought my own birthday cake and my friends knew I was celebrating my 70th birthday last November but my family didn’t know it wasn’t an ordinary birthday (Don’t worry it has been almost a year and either I am getting used to it or getting over it (being 70)). Many achievements in college I didn’t get to celebrate with my family because they couldn’t make the trip but my mother did come for my graduation. But when my son and my son-in-law graduated from the training academy, we went.
If you don’t celebrate yourself, no one one else will. If you don’t think you are worth it, no one else will? Your attitude toward yourself communicates itself nonverbally to others and they treat you the same way you treat yourself. I can be very professional when I know I am right and have the responsibility to do what is right! But it doesn’t carry over sometimes to my family and friends. Even the grand kids have begun to question my authority. But I’m not going to back down for their sake.
I have a list of complements hidden on the back of my medicine cabinet door that I would like to get; but it is not posted where anyone could see it. Why are we encouraged to be so self-effacing? I am the opposite of a narcissist I guess. Stand up, stand up for what you believe in including yourself. I hesitate to share my opinions at home or at family occasions so nobody knows what I think there. I hesitate because I might embarrass myself or others like family or friends. Keep your mouth shut. Ever hear of that?
Self-help materials suggest that you associate with only supportive friends in order to keep your self-esteem high. Of course that can keep you in denial by only associating with people who agree with you. Is there a happy medium? Are you lying to yourself or do other people keep trying to put you down?
Creativity creates creativity. If you can conceive of something, you are on the way to creating something. Before we thought some things had the probability of existing, they didn’t exist. For example, the four minute mile, that the earth is round, being able to send invisible messages through the air. Just think of the benefit that science fiction has been to developing the probability of things that we previously thought could not exist. For example, a man on the moon; exploring Mars by robot and sending the results back to earth.
If you don’t ask a question, you won’t get an answer. Most of the time the pathway to an answer is developed by asking questions, especially the right ones. For example, how do we create a three dimensional replica of something that is like a photograph or projected image of a film strip which is a two dimensional replica of something that can be sent across space. It is a hologram, the most notorous one recently has been of Michael Jackson dancing at an award presentation.
Is creativity limited by our imagination or is our imagination limited by our creativity? Would the things that have been created in this and the last century be considered magic and therefore evil by some people in the previous centuries? Something a person doesn’t understand and therefore can’t conceive of is often considered to be evil. Natives who saw sailing ships on the horizon from the shore in what are now called the Americas did not perceive them or recognize them as sailing ships as they had no previous experience with them. They had no conception of such a thing.
We, too, must expand our horizons. We must derive new possibilities from what we know and from them go on to derive even more fantastic possibilities. What if aliens from outer space made contact with natives in south america and egypt and gave them knowledge and skills which helped them build architectual marvels? How does that change what you think about what happened there and what future inventions might you hypothesize we might create from this?
Here we are constantly discovering marvelous possibilities that were limited by our previous ways of thinking until we made new discoveries about earth and the things on it and surrounding it. Here at home, we have canines that can smell things that we as humans, don’t, and can detect the presence of things we, humans can’t by smell. There are animals that can camouflage themselves by taking on the coloration and textures of their surroundings. What does that make you think about the stories of the possibilities of the invisible man?
Cognitive development continues in adult life and some of the crucial elements are the individual’s creative and learned abilities to solve problems. Do it “My way; but nicely” as a musical comedy (The King and I) song says is the way many parents and supervisors lead. Could it be that the problem-solving skills of these individuals are also underdeveloped not just those of their children or their supervisees? A good work relationship requires an able boss and a good employee, an able parent and a child with undeveloped potential, an able teacher and a willing student. In all of these equations, both the leaders and those being led have to participate and make contributions.
How do we help this along? It is by not letting an “I can’t do this” attitude from hindering a person’s development. Learning does not stop at 16, 21, or 35. It goes on for a lifetime. I realize that I have, when confronted with a barrier or an obstacle, have not taken the time necessary. I just want to get on with it so I continue on with that detail not attended to and also on depending on someone else to do what I have not learned to do for myself and not bothering to problem solve and master what may be a new skill for me.
Obstacles and barracades are opportunities to grow and learn and to acquire new skills. How often have you said I can’t when you probably could. Being constantly dependent on others to do things for us which we can’t or have not learned to do for ourselves can lead to anger both at ourselves and for our helplessness and at others whose whims we see ourselves are susceptible to.
Take on a new project. Find one thing that you have not learned how to do for yourself and master it. My spouse recently showed me for the nth time how to call up a missed number on the phone. I had always depended on him to do it for me and if he wasn’t there I could get mad at myself for not knowing how to do it and at him for being in control of my life that way by not being able to return a simple phone call without him.
Now I have a growing list of things I should be able to do for myself which demands I usually met in the past with a feeble, “I can’t…” Sometimes it is not easy; but, when mastered, these things give you more freedom to do it your way, not theirs. Learning involves communication between pupil and teacher. The student needs to build on what they already know in order to bridge the gap between themselves and teachers. It is this communality that fosters learning. The attitude, “This is so stupid. Why can’t he learn this”, is often an example of the teacher’s tendency to give up and externalize the blame onto the student.
Finally, once you’ve solved the problem, remember to use what you have learned the next time you have that problem. Remember practice makes perfect. What you learn for yourself is often the best learning method. You don’t leave any steps out or forget to define terms. Focusing on the neuroplacity of the brain means that we can go on learning the rest of our lives. It increases self-esteem, it develops abilities you may be able to teach others as a legacy, it enlarges your sphere of life (now no more saying to yourself limiting yourself by saying, ” I won’t go there because I can’t do that and I am not willing to learn”.
Remember you sometimes can chose what you want to learn to do but you can’t always control others so that they will do things for you when you don’t know how.
Is your thinking sometimes counterproductive? Do you think the same old thing over and over and it doesn’t do a thing for you or your situation? Do your thoughts often block your creativity and productivity? How often do you think to yourself, “I can’t so why even try?” It always keeps you from doing anything about it.
Counterproductive thinking often keeps one from thinking out of the box which is sometimes necessary to think of a solution. Creativity is what it is all about. Instead of thinking of one solution (even if tried and true) for a problem, think of many even if they don’t all work out then you have “exercised” your creativity. I think the word is rigid for those who are stimmied when their planned for or go-to solution doesn’t work.
Some people have an incredibly difficult time changing gears when the first solution doesn’t work. I always say, “If not plan A, then plan B. If not plan B, then plan C and so on.” The world is not designed so that “one size” fits all situations. The brain continues to form new connections as long as you continue to use it. Grow with me Come share the excitement of a new ay of thinking, of possibility thinking.
Weddings are occasions when inevitably this type of problem occurs. There seems to be at least one snafu. The wrong wedding flowers arrive, the photographs don’t turn out, etc. You can grin and bear it or try another way. This ensures a happy occasion. The guests might even think that you planned it that way.