There is a certain Amanda-ness about me. There are characteristics that make me, well, me.
If I think about what makes me, me a few facts spring to mind.
- I am taller than average.
- I have blue eyes.
- I am female.
- I am 45 (boy, that sure did sneak up on me).
Those are physical characteristics are facts about me, things I do not think anyone would argue with, but so far just these traits offer a very shallow view of who I am.
I am also an ambivert which means I can be energized by both being alone and being in groups, or not. But I wonder if that fundamental characteristic was part of the recipe that made Amanda or is it something I choose along the way?
I do not have any learning disabilities, which I am aware of, but I also have not found any remarkable innate talents.
I am reasonably intelligent; I would like to think that I am kind, hardworking, thoughtful, and helpful. I’m funny… to some people.
For a long time, I thought these attributes were baked in. That level of smarts and personality-type were all unchangeable parts of the package. Science says that is not so. When it comes to our brains, we can change just about anything. Folks that know this to be the case have a growth mindset.
Amazingly, we are much more malleable than I initially thought and we are starting to hear about this new school of thought in all facets of life.
Imagine my surprise when a meditation instructor recently told me that we are not our thoughts. That is a little mind-blowing, but it makes sense. Ideas float into our brains, and out of our minds. Thoughts impact our moods and our actions. With a little reflection, we can understand if these thoughts are helping us, or are harming us, are good for us, or bad, and we can think something else.
I know that many of us do not feel fully formed. We are on a journey trying to become better people. We are doing the hardest thing of all, changing ourselves.
It is interesting when we take it for granted that there is a certain association-ness to our association. The association must offer a conference. We must have a newsletter. We have to do this and we must continue to do that.
In reality, everything is up for discussion. I am not at all advocating for the complete destruction of everything an association does. I am just saying that anything can change. Members give us permission to add new innovations, to improve current offerings, and even to discontinue benefits that have gotten stale. Very little is sacred and while that is scary it also presents each of us an enormous opportunity.