(This blog was originally posted on June 22, 2016)
“Evolve into the person you always wanted to be.” – Shri Nagesh
|Photo by Rick Hustead|
One of my psychology professors at college described a philosophy of developmental psychology whereby each person is actually a completely different organism at different stages of development. This concept is understandable if you compare a photograph taken of you as an infant and compare the image to you as a toddler, young child (age 5-7), at age 10, early teens, etc. through your age right now. When you look hard at specific features and details of your expression, shape of your ears/nose/eyes and even the way you clasp your hands in front of your body, you can see traits and features that are totally “you.” But there are will also be other attributes that are less obvious and even invisible, such as the knowledge, experience, beliefs and attitudes that you have acquired and developed over the years. Today you may not be able to do some of the physical activities you enjoyed when you were 10 years old, let alone remember participating in that activity.
From birth to whatever age you are right now, reading this blog, is actually a long time in which you will have had plenty of opportunities to develop—evolve—into the person you are today. Whether your suggestibility is physical (direct and literal) or emotional (inference and metaphor), over time you have been acquiring, processing and acting upon various physical/sensory stimuli that have helped to mold your belief systems and behaviors. Furthermore, your sexual personality facilitates the attraction to another person with whom to eventually create a strong partnership bond. Then, if you choose, this relationship will facilitate the creation of your own family. From a strictly biological or even Darwinian perspective, such creation of new generations is the evolutionary goal of the human species.
But there is another, more recent, modern concept of evolution: self-growth. In the last 50 years or so, there have been many tremendous opportunities to achieve what 20th Century psychologist Abraham Maslow described as “self-actualization.” According to his Hierarchy of Needs theory, once a person’s basic needs for survival and social integration are achieved the focus shifts to achieving personal goals such as self-fulfillment and realizing our potential for emotional and spiritual growth. Modern advances in science and technology have enabled us to learn more about different cultures and travel to far-away places and experience more “life” before settling down to raise a family. In the United States and many other Western countries and cultures, it is more acceptable to postpone starting a family to work on personal development and achieve personal goals, first. The advent of social media has enabled us to express ourselves and share our beliefs and opinions with a much wider audience than could previous generations. Without our ancestors’ and previous generations’ life experiences and technological advances that occurred during their lifetimes, it is unlikely that we would be able to enjoy these opportunities, either.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified clinical hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.