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Saturday, July 12, 2008

a question of personal progress

Do you think you are the way that you are because it's your nature (and environment) or is it because of the work you (or others) have done on yourself?

To put it another way--

When (if?) you see progress in yourself, do you have specific methods you used that you attribute that progress to? If so, what are they? and- do you think these methods are specific to you (your personality, genetics, etc.) or do you think they are principles or methods that could be used by others?

Update: if you answer this question, let me know in the comments and I'll link to your answer from this post.


Anonymous said...

It's mostly nature, and not necessarily environment. Changing yourself is a constant fight against how you are - and it's a fight you rarely win. Perhaps progress is 1/3 will, 1/3 environment, and 1/3 nature. I'm tempted to give will even less though.

When people look back at progress they've made, they will likely attribute much of nature/environment has done as their own work. So, when progress is made, people will look back and think of things they did that contributed to that change. People rarely attribute change to external forces - especially seemingly random events.

I'd say that methods people use to evaluate their progress will be flawed. However, I'm interested to hear what methods people use. I don't think they would be specific to individuals - At least they shouldn't be, if they are any good.

Mike said...

anonymous -

I'm also interested to hear what methods people use. I have some idea of what sorts of methods provide substantive change for me, but I'd also like to hear what other people think on the subject.

Hopefully I can get some other people to answer :).

Anonymous said...

You are other people to me... so what is your method?

Mike said...

It's a little hard to explain. I'm halfway through a paper on it and I've explained it in person to a few people but i haven't yet reconciled the two versions.

It primarily has to do with setting yourself in the right environment to get whatever it is you're trying to accomplish done. But it also is a process of identifying core pieces of your identity and understanding which ones you're trying to work out and what their current state is. In general the idea is that your best bet is to find some sort of external reinforcers.

I'll probably post it here eventually, whenever I can get around to it.