Hereditary Habits

Besides passing along certain genes to you as a parent, they also pass on habits to you. This is done easily because as a child you grow up looking up to your parents.  For most of your life, they are the only model you have to base your own actions and reactions by.

This is both good and bad, because as a parent they would love for you to pickup on everything they do positively.  At the same time, they would love for you not to pick up on everything they do negatively.  The interesting thing is they can’t program you to do only one.

As much as your parents would love to assume that you didn’t hear them cuss during the traffic jam.  Or see you lie to your spouse about how much you spent at the store today.  You, as a child see all of this, and in one way or another it gets programmed into your mind.

You absorb it all, both good and bad habits.  Many people just accept the fact that they have all these traits which most likely came from being around their parents.  While others absolutely hate it and will even go to the opposite extreme of the habit.

For example, let’s say your mom is a hoarder.  She hoards everything from clothes, to food, to plastic containers and even old electronic devices.  You grow up with absolutely no space for your own and nothing but antique electronics that no one in their right mind would want.

You develop a mindset that is the complete opposite of your mom.  “Why do I need so many things and why can’t I be happy with nothing.”  “I never want to grow up being like my mom.”

Suddenly you start to categorize yourself as a minimalist.  You don’t need anything.  Just the bare essentials.

And you start shunning anyone who you deem to possess hoarding traits.  “I grew up with a hoarding mom my whole life and was miserable because of it.  I’m not going to re-live that nightmare with you.”

You expect the whole world to embrace this new you.  Who is actually created from the interacting with your mother your whole life.  The new you is based on the opposite of who your mother is.

In general, pertaining to our parent’s habits, we will do one of three things:

  1. Accept them as who we are and just let their habits be our habits.
  2. Not accept them, push them away, hate it, and even go to the opposite extreme of the habit.
  3. Become oblivious to it and not even notice it having an effect on us.  For some it may still have an effect, despite their lack of knowledge of the habits.

Personally, I recommend none of these options.  My recommendation is trying to find a happy medium between who your parents’ habits and the extreme opposite of the habit.

Being a hoarder does has it’s positive.  Why else would your mother do it?  People actually recommend buying products in bulk, storing them at home, and using them as needed.

Buying in bulk saves you money because they are usually priced cheaper then individual packaged items.  Buying in bulk also saves you time and gas from all the visits you would’ve made to the store had you gotten the items in individual packages.

At the same time, being a minimalist also has benefits to it too.  You never buy things that end up in your closet or garage like the newest exercise machine that promises to make you look like a super model.  Money and space is saved.

The goal is to embrace both sides and learn when is the best time to apply each habit.  Living on a budget, it’s not wise to buy things cheap, hoard them at home, and never use them.  At the same time, as a business owner you can’t expect revenue to come in when you’re not willing to spend money on marketing and re-modeling.

There is a reason and a season for everything in life.  It is up to you to make the best out of what is given to you.  And what is given to most of us is hereditary habits.

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