I’m sure I would have enjoyed conversation with Rene’ Descartes. As a philosopher his impact is still felt today. “I think, therefore I am.” That’s a phrase that has shaped generations. We are, after all, thinking creatures. Education is better now than in the 1500’s. Advancements in science, medicine, physiology and emerging technologies have benefited from his statement that challenged us humans to think and use our brain.
That would be fine if you had to think about everything, all the time. But, you don’t.
Your brain learns something new and wants to automate it as quickly as possible. Remember when you were young and learning to brush your teeth? You had to think about each tooth on the front, in the biting portion and the back… for every tooth. My guess is now, you just brush your teeth and maybe do the odd task as you brush. Your brain has automated that job. You unconsciously brush your teeth.
The same is true for many tasks, jobs, situations and whatever else you do each and every day. Your life and character are shaped and modified by every thought you have and the information you consume; consciously or unconsciously.
Character is not something we can think about and magically it happens. Character is forged or shaped in daily choices and decisions, conscious or unconscious. Your actions show your character and it is constantly being modified by the information you consume.
The way you perceive the world is influenced by what you see, smell, hear taste, and touch. Good habits, or bad. If they (habits) are automated you might not be aware (conscious) of what you’re doing and how you might be responding to your co-worker, spouse, partner or child.
What can be done? Take note of how you respond in tense situations. Recognize what makes you anxious. Become aware of the information and content you consume; particularly on social media. All of these (and more) are shaping your character.
Reading this article has changed you, even so slightly. Did you notice?