Traditional thinking suggests that once past our puberty years, we tend to settle down into a more stable, mature personality that persists all the way till our twilight years. Yet this study from Psychology and Aging suggests that contrary to what we think, our personalities in childhood can be very different from what it will be during old age. Granted there were limitations in the study, it does seem to conclude that our sense of self – our values, principles and behaviour – can and does change over time.
What does this mean for us when it comes to learning and development?
- It just goes to show how we can continue to grow and learn, to the extent that we may even have our personalities changed by it. Over the years, as we continue to take in new information, we make the decision on what gets through to our heads and what doesn’t. This in turn either reinforces our current way of thinking, or serves as gentle prods in reshaping our thought patterns, resulting in the observed drastic changes to our personalities over a longer period of time.
- We do not have to be stuck in the past. I think, very often we like to trap ourselves in past paradigms, thinking that things will be the same forever and ever. But we can change, and should embrace and celebrate it. Where I am coming from is the fact that I find self-limitation (in everything I do) to be quite a stumbling block at times. My lazy brain keeps telling me that my circumstances will not change and I should just take it easy, but I have to make the conscious effort to remind myself not to think in such parochial terms. For there is so much unfulfilled potential, so much unfinished business that needs to be done.
1Q2017 is done and over with, now time to continue building upon the things that I have started!