I had considered titling todays post “how do you handle failure”… however it seemed a bit dark for a title, so I opened with your definition of success. I believe that these two things go hand in hand: both how you define success and how you handle failure. Seems to be that you can learn a lot about a person by how they view their success and failures and how they behave accordingly.
When I think about successes and failures, I cannot help but think about how one defines the terms, and how they vary widely from person to person. And once they have been defined, how do these definitions impact our lives?
For example: If my definition of success in a marriage involves deep conversation and weekly strolls through the neighborhood, sharing emotions, and philosophical debates, how will I feel about my partner’s silence in the evenings, or lack of desire to be active?
Or if my definition of financial security involves a loaded savings account and a plush 401K, how will it impact me if my partner feels it’s more important to have a nice home and nice things for quality of day to day life?
Without realizing it, we all go into relationships with these templates or expectations of how things should feel or how they should look, and we don’t mean to be selfish, but it’s difficult to change what you have always thought or how you have viewed things.
The challenge of any relationship in life is that we each bring our own set of templates or expectations, as well as definitions of successes and failures, and often times these do not line up or match someone else’s.
For some of us, there is a realization somewhere along the journey through life, that our template or expectations may not even be serving ourselves very well, let alone another relationship. At that point we are left with more questions than answers. What are my options? Do I have options? Is it possible to change? I will readily admit that this particular junction can be rather stressful and presents with a rather daunting level of involvement.
But is it possible to reconstruct these templates, either for the sake of another or simply for the sake of a healthier definition or expectation? Dr. Dan Siegel says yes, through the study of interpersonal neurobiology, we now understand that we can remap the way a brain functions. This allows us to change the way we think and the way we behave. How is this possible? Through literally rewiring the brain to focus on something different and therefore encourage a new, and perhaps healthier template to emerge.
The simple science is that “neurons that fire together, wire together”, which is another way of saying what you think about and what you regularly do, become your template for how you think and what you do… so if you want either or both of those to change, you have to begin to think and behave in a way that is more in line with what would be considered healthy.
Perhaps in order to further explore this, one could benefit from identifying what their templates are and what expectations come with those templates. We need to first identify these definitions and expectations before we can begin to look at how they were created in the first place… let alone go about the work of changing them.
The more that I explore within the field of psychology, the more I realize the long and arduous process, of becoming, of changing, or growing, of expanding… and the more I get excited for the ride.