LeadU presents Nature & Nurture’s Surprise


Nature & Nurture’s Surprise

“It is a mistake to think that the past is dead.  Nothing that has ever happened is quite without influence at this moment.  The present is merely the past rolled up and concentrated in this second of time.

You, too, are your past.  Often your face is your autobiography.  You are what you are because of what you have been; because of your heredity stretching back into forgotten generations; because of every element of environment that has affected you, every man or woman that has met you, every book that you have read, every experience that you have had.

All these are accumulated in your memory, your body, your character, your soul.  So with a city, a country, and a race; it is its past, and cannot be understood without it.”  – Will Durant

At the root of @F-L-O-W beliefs are the following:
We owe our current lives to almost everything else, not our own doing.

In the brightened Century of Self, self-importance is key, and we’ve done that, in large part, marvelously.

Now, the question comes (IHMO):
What do we owe all of our life to?

I can only answer this in part, and here is this part now.

It is through Nature’s Lottery, Nurture’s Scaffolding, and the times we live in.

We give too much credit to ourselves for our "stead" in life.
-Coaches take too much credit for a player’s outcomes.
-Parents too much credit or blame for their children’s development.
-Leaders get too much credit or blame for their success or failure.

Almost everything we are is not because of something we did (which is and of itself, a piece of Nature’s Lottery)…


This notion is counter-intuitive to BS [Blank Slate].

We have been taught that it was our hard work, and attention to __________ and whatever, not luck, not Nature’s Lottery, or Nurture’s Lottery, or the times we’ve lived in. We were taught it was through our own diligence, our own efforts, our own decisions, and choice-making that has produced this "life" we have now, when in fact… we are bit players!

In general, we just can’t take credit for much.  It’s the mystery of life that can reduce almost all of what we thought was "our doing" our will, our motivation, effort, energy, choice, hard work, and so forth.

Please feel free to add to the list your own "reasons" for why you are the way you are and what you BE, DO, HAVE, and BECOME.

NOW, this surprise alone will be enough of a shock to turn people off to this program, because we want to claim the rights our self-importance has provided us…!

For surely, we have seen those lazy people, those addicts, those ne’r-do-wells, those _____________ and that is not due to anything other than their own __________________.

When in fact, I believe and thus put forward as an @F-L-O-W axiom: We have only participated to a small extent in any of this… and while it feels like it’s all us (ego’s game)… we are but the vehicle that experiences, learns, grows, AND develops as a resultant, not as a cause!

Even waking up in the morning can be reduced to Nature and Nurture and Time, or NNT, as we might refer in an equation.

Helpful Hint: At the root of this primitive belief, which questions the very nature of everything around us, even that which is in the mirror, it takes some time to allow the ego to calm down after it out-of-hand rejects the notion that we are a product of who we are, and not something we have made.

Action Step: If everything, all of our behavior, can be reduced to something inborn… then what has emerged can always be connected to that… and LUCK, if you believe the former is not luck as well.  It’s not luck really, it’s heredity.

So, what went wrong when one heredity produces two different results… the participation with life and the bifurcations at each turn?  In most cases we never had much to do with it as our choice filters are already programmed early.  Yet, we can reduce MOST of these unique appearing resultants to their causal signals… and there we find ourselves all over again.  <G>

Think about your own life, how much of where you are right now is due to nature and nurture, and timing?

It’s hard to conceptualize this because we have been conditioned to the belief that it is through our own being, doing, having, and becoming, that therefore go we.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or need some additional help, please use the form below to submit them.  Someone will get back to you within 48 hours. 

    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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