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Personality quizzesrampant on the internet aim to box us into definite divisions based on thecharacter traits we possess. These phenomenon allude to a certain rigidnessof personality. But what if I wished to be bolder, more extroverted or lessof a worrier?
Am I destinedto live out my years with some of the undesirable traits I possess that are said to havebeen brought about by a combination of nature and nurture? Or can somethingbe done about it?
Studies have shown,perhaps obviously, that most people have the same personality that they didgrowing up. While it is inevitable that major life events, for example trauma,have an effect on who you are, for the most part, people’s personalities arefixed.
TheMarshmallow Test, which I had previously written about as it an experiment Ifind fascinating. It was a study based on will-power. It sought to explorewhether children were able to defer a sweet treat in exchange for more lateron had any far reaching consequences. And it did! Those successfully able todelay gratification were shown to be happier, healthier and wealthier later inlife. Although, this has recently been found to have more to do with impulsecontrol than with willpower. Regardless, if you were unable to wait as achild, are you doomed to a life of impulsiveness?
From what Ihave read, the answer is yes and no. For the most part, with concertedeffort, it is possible to change who you are, like with most things in life Isuppose. After all, one of the main takeaways of the Marshmallow Test and itsfindings is that it is possible to re-learn willpower as an adult. Everything,then, is only as rigid as you believe it to be. Change is possible if you thinkit to be so.