This is a truly fascinating subject because it tells the story of how we become who we are. We are the result of a journey from ‘behaviour to nature’ – a journey that begins with seemingly innocent and what may appear inconsequential actions and yet ends up creating patterns that become incredible forces of nature.
As we guide you along this path you will come to understand that your behaviours are like sowing seeds in the fields of infinite possibility and your nature is the fruit that those seeds eventually bear. So let us look at not only how you’ve become who you are today, but more importantly how you can become that which seems beyond your reach. If you believe you are stuck where you are and are unable to change, then that almost certainly will be your reality. However, if you dare to believe that the best is yet to come, then the adventure that awaits you will never cease to amaze you.
Behaviour: this is where our journey begins – with our actions, what we actually do. Of course the precursors to our actions are our thoughts. Before our actions are visible in the world they begin as thoughts and feelings in our minds. Understanding the relationship between thoughts and actions is a topic that has been repeatedly covered within our approach; suffice it to say that if we want to change our behaviour we need to change our thoughts. This is why we’ve produced so many resources that are geared to achieving that outcome. However, in the end, it’s what we do that will bring the greatest changes. Thoughts without actions are simply not enough.
Behaviours, good, bad or neutral, are what we first pour into the moulds that then form our personalities and characters. Those behaviours eventually set up in us virtues or vices, confidence or fear, belief or doubts, peace or anger – in fact everything about who you are today began with those initial behaviours (actions), which then blend and bind together creating those early patterns….
Traits: when our behaviours blend and bind together in this way they create traits. Traits are little pockets of energy, filled with latent propensities and tendencies. It’s at this point that our behaviours really begin to make their presence felt. When behaviours begin their journey their influence over us is probably somewhere between 2 and 10%; their power initially is quite weak. However, by the time they have become traits, which occurs as a consequence of repetition, their influence on our way of being is increased to around 25% and so now they are forces to be reckoned with. At this point in the journey of becoming, traits are influencing our perceptions, moods and attitudes; which means we are more likely to be thinking and at times acting in accordance with those initial behaviours. We still are in control of the pattern being formed, but the seductive dance is beginning to lure us, casting its spell.
If these traits go unchallenged and we don’t examine their usefulness and authenticity, then we can quite quickly be overwhelmed by the momentum and the force that they generate. It is at this point that traits develop from just having influence into entities that have real power….
Personality: those seemingly innocent and arguably inconsequential early behaviours are now part of a power struggle going on within the self. When traits find their way into the labyrinth of our personality they begin to have a substantial say on our internal workings – they have real power. At this point the degree of influence over our internal machinations is somewhere around 50%, and so perceptions, moods and attitudes are now becoming beliefs. This is when the force of habit begins to make its presence felt. Habits start by demanding energy and slowly take control of our self-perception and worldview. This is when most of us find ourselves beginning to lose control of our inner landscape (the mind). We start to feel intimidated and even overwhelmed by the force of habits; our sense of control is slipping away and this instils fear and hopelessness.
It’s important to note, for the sake of balance, that if those initial behaviours were positive, then of course we would not be feeling intimidated, overwhelmed and afraid. At this point in the journey we would be growing in self-awareness, confidence and personal power. We’d be reaping the seeds of our positive actions and experiencing the peace and happiness that comes from such activities. We’d then have access to becoming the person we most wish to be. So it’s important to understand that this journey is not one set in stone, it is fluid and changeable because it depends on the decisions and choices we make. So, if the (negative) traits that have unleashed their tendencies on our personalities are not curbed, managed and redirected then we find ourselves in the grip of an even greater force….
Character: once behaviours have become, or more accurately helped to create our characters, then the awesome power of habit dominates the inner landscape. Those early behaviours that were being poured into the mould have now been cast; tendencies and propensities have long gone and we are now at the stage of the journey where we are no longer driving, we are being driven! If positive energy, born of good decisions, good choices and good habits has become part of the fabric of one’s character, then this is a force so powerful it can achieve the miraculous. However, if it is negative energy that has found its way to this point then it can create such devastation and destruction it is almost beyond comprehension. It is at this stage of the process that the individual is camped firmly within the fortress of their beliefs and in most cases would happily live or die by those beliefs. Some of the greatest achievements in history have been shaped by the sheer force of character – unfortunately some of the worst atrocities have been the by-product of its incredible power and ability to manipulate and mould events.
And so you can see, the character is defined by whether our behaviours are positive or negative. Those things that have formed our character also drive our perceptions, beliefs and sense of self and these are not easy to change without a burning desire and the belief in the possibility of change. The reason that many people stay ‘stuck’ with who they ‘believe’ themselves to be is because they have little or no understanding of this ‘cycle of becoming’ and coupled with that and maybe because of that, they often have no belief in their own ability to transform. Nothing could be further from the truth….
Nature: by the time behaviours have been moulded into our nature the power and the dominance of the subconscious mind is being completely felt in the conscious world. At this point we are often deceived by thinking that our thoughts are indeed our own! They may feel like our own thoughts, decisions and choices but in fact at this stage in the process we are ‘being thought’ – things are happening so spontaneously and seemingly naturally that we think we are in control. However, the truth is that the conscious mind is now almost completely in the grip of the subconscious mind and those initial behaviours that became traits, which then became aspects of our personality and moved on to become pillars of our character, have now consumed what sense of self remains. Our patterns, drives and habits dominate the decisions and choices we ‘think’ we are making. They have formed opinions and beliefs so strong that they no longer listen to reason, as they are busy justifying their own position.
By the time something has become our nature, we are either standing at a point of virtue and divine possibility, or we are holding the key to our own oblivion; it all depends on those initial behaviours, such is the power of our actions to shape our destinies. The idea that we are just being pulled along by the force of circumstances, unable to influence how our lives unfold, is one of the many ways in which we give our power away. The truth is that our actions are influencing the internal machinery of consciousness, which in turn influences the way we relate to each other and the world. Our beliefs, passions, perceptions, relationships, sense of meaning and purpose are all being moulded by what we do or by what we don’t do! It’s as simple as that! It’s now time to take responsibility for our own lives and stop waiting for something else to bring the changes we desperately seek….
The way forward: having taken this journey, which has hopefully illustrated to you how the negative forces can bring us to our knees, you could be forgiven for wondering where the hope is in this message? It’s become clear that by the time something has become our nature it can be extremely difficult to change and therefore one could be easily disheartened and lose faith. But if this is how you are feeling, then you haven’t really seen the tremendous message of hope and the potential for positive change being offered here. This journey of becoming is one where you can literally find the best in yourself by understanding how the worst of yourself has been constructed; it shows you how by having the desire to change and believing in the possibility of that, you can achieve what you’d been to afraid to imagine, you can indeed realize the personal transformation you ache for.
You’ll notice on the diagram (click here to see diagram) that behaviour (1) and nature (5) have a slightly different relationship with each other – the arrows here are in fact pointing both ways. This is because it is behaviour that started this process and through the power of repetition we have seen how it has transformed itself into the awesome force… nature. The irony here is that it is actually our behaviour that has the power to transform nature into something far more positive, empowering and pleasing….
Now, what you need to do is to take the journey from ‘knowing to doing’ because it is only what you do that can enable you to change anything that you are dissatisfied with in your life. It’s not enough to want it to go away, you actually need to desperately want it to change. Until you cultivate a healthy obsession, a burning desire to change, you’re unlikely to do the things that you need to do consistently for personal transformation to take place. Sustainable solutions are not found in wishy-washy intentions, followed by lame and inconsistent actions; success does not live in that place. So really grasp the opportunity being offered to you here today and realise that nothing and no one can stop you from fulfilling your potential once you decide that this is what you want. Take the journey of creating new, positive behaviours to transform your nature and you’ll soon discover you can really become whatever you choose….
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”.
Lao Tzu (604 BC – 531 BC)
Also see: The Journey of Enough