The strongest influence we have is that from our parents.  As children, we instinctively learn from them. We observe and absorb everything they say and do.  Like all people, our parents have good and not-so-good qualities.

Unfortunately, we pick up both since we are not able to distinguish between them when we are children.  Only as adults are we able to analyze the legacy of what our parents gave us.  And we now have the ability to choose which qualities we want to cultivate and which qualities to discard.

Beware that observing, learning from, and imitating our parents is hardwired into our psyche.  It takes conscious effort to identify and change these patterns.  Being able to look at your parents objectively demands maturity.

As we grow up, we oftentimes catch ourselves reacting in ways where we see our parents reflected in ourselves.  It is only natural that this happens, as we will then be the age we can remember our parents being.  Whether we want it or not, our parentsf aspirations for us are a major influence in forming who we are.

At some point, we absorbed it, modified it, or perhaps rebelled against it.  The fact is that all people have good and bad qualities.  If you can find no good qualities in your parents, then you may have a long way to go in raising your awareness.  Realize that there is nothing wrong with needing more awareness.  Take your own realization as a compliment.

There is so much baggage we have from our parents, including:

•  The words we use.
•  The gestures we use.
•  The trust we put in others.
•  Our reactions to major and minor events.

These are all things you observed and learned from your parents when you were growing up.  As an adult you now have the opportunity to reflect and analyze if what you learned from your parents was the right thing.  You can even correct it, though this requires discipline and hard work.

Many people never reflect on what they learned from their parents.  They never analyze if who they are, what they have, or what they believe is what they really want.  They presume that what they know and what they have is right by default.  Let me illustrate by an example.

For more than 70 years, parents in communist Russia taught their children that communism was right and good. So the children of Russia really believed that communist Russia was good and right.  When communism finally collapsed, it became obvious that the system was wrong and evil.  At that moment, people had to change their beliefs at a great cost.

This is the same as when your parents taught you things that you might now regard as true and right, when in reality might not be so.  Let’s examine this example further and see how the parents’ beliefs can shape a child’s life.

In communist Russia, the ideal career was to become a member of the communist party and work as a party secretary.  After communism fell, most of the people who planned on becoming a party secretary had to change their career plan, and hence their life plan.

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Free Workbook: “what do you want to do with your life?”
Allowing Ourselves to Ask the Question

Table of Contents

I. Chapter One: Introduction to Life Planning

II. Chapter Two: Your Past

III. Chapter Three: The Influence Of Generations

IV. Chapter Four: Your Present

V. Chapter Five: Your Future

VI. Chapter Six: Your Alternatives

VII. Chapter Seven: Making The Decision

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