What if you’d never heard the word “genetics?” Would it change things for you?
Would you quit blaming your high blood pressure on Grandma Mildred? Would you quit using the excuse that if only my mom weren’t fat, I wouldn’t be so fat?
What about this one: Cancer runs in my family. What if bad eating habits, poor choices, negative thinking, and no exercise (to name a few) were really the reason cancer “runs in your family?”
What if you truly had the power to alter the path or break the cycle or change the code? Guess what, you do!
Now you’re probably thinking one of two things:
1. ‘Oh my gosh, what a relief. I’ll start right now.’ Unlikely! Or…
2. ‘Shoot, now I don’t have an excuse and no one to blame.’
Let’s take a moment and mix science with thinking.
First of all, isn’t it time we all decide to take 100% responsibility for everything in our lives, including our health?
We live in a day and age where knowledge is at our fingertips, the latest scientific studies are available the minute they’re released, books can be downloaded in minutes, experts answer questions online, etc.
Do we really have any excuses?
The book, The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk states:
“Genes express themselves strictly in accordance with their environment. Everything that we are, from the first moment of conception, is a result of this process. We do not INHERIT traits directly from our genes. Instead, we develop traits through the dynamic process of gene-environment interaction. Genetic differences still matter enormously. But, on their own, they don’t determine who we are.”
For example: what if you gave 10 people a recipe and all the same ingredients to bake a pie. Do you think every pie would look the same, smell the same, or taste the same?
No, and the reason for this is the “process.”
“Development is chemistry,” says Cambridge University biologist Patrick Bateson, “and the end product cannot simply be reduced to its ingredients.”
Although genetics do matter, what matters more is what you do with them.
Genes do not code for particular behavior patterns. Genes do not decide your posture. Genes do not create your belief system. Genes do not drive your car to the McDonald’s drive-through window.
Genes do not create cellulite. Genes do not make you smart or dumb. Genes do not cause bad relationships. Genes do not restrict you from making more money. Genes do not determine the size of clothing you wear. Genes do not cause you to be lazy.
So, what do they do?
Genes give you the ability to develop, grow, think, act, learn; however you please, whenever you please, as much as you please. Genes build your foundation, the rest is up to you; and much of this process is determined by self-discipline.
It is never too late to learn or change; and it doesn’t have to be drastic.
Spring is a time of renewal and growth, so challenge yourself for the next week to start eliminating thoughts and beliefs that do NOT serve you.
I have a huge Rodney White painting that hangs in my home, with these words:
“Use it when it’s to your Advantage. Abandon it when it becomes your Limitation.”
Make a concerted effort to be intentional and deliberate about abandoning negative thoughts. You will quickly see that by replacing those thoughts with more positive self-talk, you will begin to feel better.
Once you start to feel better, you will be able to continue developing your genes to serve you, not hold you back.
Tip: in order to do this, you must be conscious.
I’m sure you’re thinking that you, of course, are always conscious. So, I ask, how many times are you driving to work in the morning and you’re really not in your car, but already in the sales meeting or preparing dinner that night.
How much time do you spend in the moment; really in the moment?
I advise this: think about what you’re doing when you’re doing it.
Be present in the now and you will, by default, teach yourself a new way of thinking, listening, receiving.
Remember, developing your genes is about self-discipline, so start this journey by disciplining yourself to be present for this new world that will be evolving all around you.
Nature or Nuture? Neither matters when you take control of your thinking.