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Is it ancestry, upbringing or neither that makes you what you are?

Updated on September 14, 2014

Ancestry or Upbringing - Do they really matter?

Is it ancestry, upbringing or something else that makes us who we are?

In my recent book series on Amazon, entitled Rubies – Escaping the Curse, the women in the book believe in all sincerity that a family curse is destroying their lives, yet in actuality the curse only has its control in the center of each of their minds.

So what part of your parents and grandparents belong to you? Is it the infamous gene pool that makes a difference as to who we really are or what we become? Perhaps it is our environment, our upbringing, our taught values, manners or monetary achievements of our parents.

It’s a known fact that most of us come from diverse backgrounds; a mixture of ancestry that would fill a treasure chest. Although there are many anecdotes we could share on our heritage and many well known characteristics that stem from our ancestors, it is obvious that not all Germans are super intelligent or hard workers; not all Norwegians are stubborn to a fault; not all Irish are quick witted and charming. So what exactly motivates people to become what they are? Yes it is true that our environment plays an tremendous role in shaping our lives; however, it is not the single most important factor. What then is the overwhelming aspect that seems to surpass all others?

Does one wake up one day and decide to become rich and famous? Do you suddenly develop the power to achieve when you’ve never had it before?

Most of us learn by example, by following the leaders, by branding our success upon our mentors, our teachers, and our parents. We learn by watching, by reading, by following. For example, let’s take a writer like me. The books in my library run the gamut of self-help, to grammar, to motivation and inspiration. They explain all the rules for writing effectively; however, if the basic gut instinct to write is not there, all the teaching in the world falls on deaf ears.

I have seen people who are multi-talented yet produce mediocre results in their achievements. On the other hand, I have see others with a pittance of talent grow that talent into an academy award. So what is the secret? How do you find it? How do you make it work for you?

What makes an artist become a Michelangelo? What makes a singer become an Andrea Bocelli? What makes a dancer become Anna Pavlova? Where is the key to opening the door?

I think most of us are familiar with the teachings of the Bible. Some of us believe it is the Word of God, others believe it is a good book, but most of us will agree that in its entirety the Bible contains some of the best advice given to man. Take for instance the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. This is a phenomenal book whether you are Jewish, Christian, or even an agnostic.

Let’s examine just a few of the verses from the New American Standard Bible which have universal implications:

Proverbs 22: 24&25 says do not associate with a man given to anger or a hot-tempered man lest you learn his ways and find a snare for yourself. In other words, stay away from those who cannot control their tempers or you may find yourself in a serious predicament because of their actions.

Proverbs 23:13 says do not hold back discipline from the child. In our present day thinking, we do not discipline with spanking but with a time out or withholding privileges. Although I am not an advocate of beating or slapping a child, I do think a good over the knee spanking is sometimes much in order. I believe the King James Version most of us know well says something like: “spare the rod and spoil the child”.

Although I have many favorite verses from Proverbs, the one that has always come closest to my mind is Proverbs 23: 7 taken from the King James Version: As a man thinketh in his heart so is he, which has been known to reference a scripture in Philippians 4:8 which tells us to have our mind dwell on what is true, honorable, right and of good repute. It is a clear example that we as people have the option to control our lives by what we think. I believe there are some Bible scholars that have reputed the words in the verse to be taken out of context. None of this matters when analyzing just what the brain can do.

In my research I found many different theories and thoughts (pun intended). The prognosis that man only uses 10% of his brain is adequately be re-phrased per Sir John Eccles winner of the Novel Prize on the infinite potential of the human brain. His theory below says a great about it.

We only use 10% of our brain, only 10% of our brain potential"- this is actually an infinitely optimistic.

Sir John Eccles response to the statement that we use 100% of our brain all the time says the following:

“Humans have an unlimited capacity to learn. Unlike computers, no human brain has ever said: "Hard drive full."

A simple look at brain scans will show us that the brain modulates dramatically from one moment to the next in regards to its activity and usage. Here it is then, on the screen of Functional MRI machines and Pet scans, incontrovertible evidence that we do not use all of our brain all of the time.”

He also added “If the whole brain is being used all the time, how does a person with just 10% of his brain continue to function normally?

To say "We use all of our brain all of the time" says nothing about the potential of human intelligence, creativity, and problem solving. Such a skeptical rebuttal of the vast potential of the human think machine implies that we have reached our limits of brain potential- probably the most harmful dead end notion of all. We haven't even gotten close.”

In essence he clearly states that we can increase our brain power, we can continue to learn, to grow to become what we desire.

This brings me back to original premise. What you think you are, you will become. You are what you think. If negative thoughts overwhelm you and you believe you will fail, then you will surely fail. If, on the other hand, you keep positive thoughts and feed on those positive thoughts and ideas, you will find yourself growing to become the person you wish to be. You will succeed at your endeavors no matter how long it takes. You will make a goal and repeat that goal to yourself over and over every day.

Whatsoever a man thinkith “so is he”. You can become whatever you choose if you persevere, make goals and don’t give up. Don’t just follow a dream; make a plan to fulfill that dream. Live it daily.

Write it down, say it out loud, think in your mind and it will become you.


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    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN


      Thanks for the follow and reading the hub and your kind words. I look forward to reading your work and getting to know you.

      Blessings, Sandy

    • amazmerizing profile image

      amazmerizing 2 years ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

      Hmm sounds like self-fulfilling prophecy to me! Yes we are all a sum of our total self, and that includes our environment, upbringing, genetics, and experiences. I liked this article very much! Love things that make me go hmmm!!! ;)

    • profile image

      Sandra Eastman 3 years ago

      Thanks Shelley. It is an interesting concept and so true that Changing the inner working of the mind can change the outer aspect of the life

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 3 years ago

      Wouldn't it be great Sandra if we could access some of the 90% of our brain. I wonder how much we could achieve and would we all gain use of a sixth or seventh sense? Interesting thoughts - I enjoyed the read!