Friday, March 31, 2017

You are not who you were.

From an article on Quartz:
The longest personality study of all time, published in Psychology and Aging and recently highlighted by the British Psychological Society, suggests that over the course of a lifetime, just as your physical appearance changes and your cells are constantly replaced, your personality is also transformed beyond recognition.
If your patterns of thought, emotions, and behavior so drastically alter over the decades, can you truly be considered the same person in old age as you were as a teenager? This question ties in with broader theories about the nature of the self. For example, there is growing neuroscience research that supports the ancient Buddhist belief that our notion of a stable “self” is nothing more than an illusion.
I would think that on a laid out time frame, the largest difference in self is from teenagehood to adulthood. Let's say, 15 to 30. The difference from 30 to 40 or 40 to 50 wouldn't be huge, but the emotional, hormonal and life difference of being a teenager to being an adult is astronomical. 

Once you're in a 9 to 5 and you're just trudging along, the space for significant discovery or change is mostly self-initiated, whereas in youth, in schooling and in entering the working/social marketplace you are forced to react to stimuli you didn't ask to be introduced to. Forced growth and change. Both of which are painful, and require a lot of time and energy that we ration carefully as we get older.

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