There is this theory I came across a few years ago during my philosophy class. The philosopher David Hume proposes the idea of tabula rasa. This theory states that when we’re born, we have nothing. No thoughts, no ideas, no opinions, no feelings, nothing. We’re just a hollow piece of meat. In our journey in this world, every person we meet and every situation we encounter leaves some marks in our hard drive (unconscious) and we’re molded more or less by that experience. As grown ups, we’re the sum of those experiences.
According to other big thinkers, this is not quite exactly true. Our temperament is something that we might be born with. It influences the way we interpret every experience, so even though we’re a blank page when we’re born, it influences what and how it gets written on that blank page (this is very hard to prove though).
In his book Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, Brian Tracy states the following:
“A child is born without a concept about himself. Every idea, opinion, feeling, attitude or value that you have today as an adult, you’ve learned it in your childhood. Everything you are today is the result of an idea or impression you took and accepted as being real. When you think something is real, whatever it is, it becomes real for you. ‘You are what you think, not what you think you are.’”
As you notice, Brian Tracy doesn’t say that we’re born with nothing and honestly, it doesn’t matter that much for our present and future. Yes, we don’t have a self concept when we’re born and yes, everything we are today is the sum of what we experienced in our lives so far, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t change the way we are by choosing some experiences we encounter (we can’t chose all, but we can chose how we’re going to look at them all).
Based on our journey, our mind and our body gets into a certain shape and once we realize this, we might want to get a better control over them because our life depends on them.
“You don’t believe what you see, you see what you believe.” – Brian Tracy
What do you think about all these ideas?