Home is the best place to implement all the structure we’ve talked about over the last three posts. Here they are if you missed them:
Why is home the best place? Let me explain.
Our personalities are shaped by two areas of life: inherited traits and learned traits.
Inherited personality traits
These are aspects of our personality we’ve had since birth. There is some scientific debate on whether some personality traits are learned or inherited. However, I’m convinced there are just some things about ourselves we’ll never be able to change.
Learned traits are those we have picked up along the way whether from inside the home or out. We have the ability to change these traits, however, changing them is very difficult. Your sense of humor, ability to cook, rudeness or politeness, religion and world view – all are environmentally taught traits.
Home is Where the Heart Is
The majority of our personality traits are learned, and we have very little control over what happens outside of our homes. We have more control over what happens within our four walls. This is why home is the best place to cultivate structure, discipline and healthy habits.
Home’s influence is a major aspect of who we believe we are in the world.
Our parents teach us religion, world views, traditions and cultural norms at home. If you had loving parents, you learned how to love at home. A handicapped sibling may teach empathy and love for others. Likewise, if you have or had abusive parents, you may very well have learned to self-hate from your home.
Family members carry what happens in the home out into the community. So if the heads of the home focus on creating a healthy and content family life, all who come into the home (whether it be children or neighbors or whoever) will take that contentment with them when they go.
This is something I like to call the Home-First Approach.
The whole premise of the Home-First Approach is to take all the qualities you find important in life and practice them at home.
With practice, those qualities become habitual, and they will travel with you wherever you go.
My husband and I don’t have children yet, so right now, our part of the Home-First Approach is practicing good communication, love and healthy habits with each other. We are kind and caring towards one another. We are honest with each other. And we try to take that love and care outside our home to our neighbors, our extended families, our friends and our respective places of work.
What Kind of Home Do You Have Right Now?
Home is a training ground of sorts. A place you can learn to be content with your normal life.
Are you living with your parents? Take the Home-First Approach. Love them, be honest with them, listen to them.
Are you a newlywed? Take the Home-First Approach.
Are you widowed or divorced? Practice contentment in your home first.
The Home-First Approach even works if your family isn’t on board. In that case, your body is your home and your family is your community.
Families can be messy and selfish and secretive and passive aggressive. But YOU don’t have to be that way. You can cultivate the qualities you want to see in your family inside yourself. They may never see the light through you, but they might! They certainly won’t if you aren’t shining any.
What Kind of Family Do You Want?
Whatever you cultivate in your four walls will flow outside of them.
- If the home is loving, the family know how to love others
- If the rhythm of the home is peaceful, the family will be able to spread peace
- When the parents create a space for their children to grow into who they’re supposed to be, the children will be more accepting and empathetic towards others
- If the home is caring, the family will take care of the community
Ask yourself what qualities, what habits, what disciplines you find important. Now create them. I know that’s not as easy as it sounds, but there is always time to start again.
The family you’re creating doesn’t have to reflect the one you grew up in. You have a choice. You do not have to be defined by your circumstances.
Most of our personality traits are learned. So even if you don’t know how right now, you can learn how to love. You can learn how to be content. There is always time.
At this point, you may be saying, “All of this is great, Rachel, BUT I need to know how to actually create healthy habits.” I know all of this information, doesn’t give you explicit instructions. It doesn’t give you a place to begin this journey. So, I’ve done it for you!
Free Mini-Course: 7 Practical Ways to Build Healthy Habits.
If you want to implement everything we’ve learned directly into your life, I’ve created this mini-course just for you. It will take you through all the steps necessary to create good habits, get rid of old ones and be content just in time for 2017!
Want to get the course directly into your inbox? Drop me your name and email right here: