We are the sum total of our experiences

we are the sum total of our experiences

Yesterday’s post talked about the power of belief, starting with self-belief.

A core to #OpenLeadership is, then, self-knowledge, and recent conversations remind me of this quote :

We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.” 

Sometimes we look at past actions and events in our life and judge them, wish they didn’t happen, look at ourselves and wish we had acted differently. However, “we are the sum total of our experiences”, they make us who we are today, they create the colours of our lives. When we choose to ignore what they have taught us, how they have formed who we are, we lessen the richness and fullness of who we are and what we have to offer the world.

Another reminder from a conversation today, from one of my very favourite books :

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

My spin on this is that when events and changes happen in our life, we have a part to play in this from conscious (and often unconscious) intention and direction we set for ourselves.

One more. Friends and regular readers know how much I love music. A number of years ago I came across a wonderful album called One Giant Leap, and my favourite track is called “My Culture” and features a wonderful opening of a Maori elder speaking, with these lines :

“I’m the sum total of my ancestors
I carry their DNA
We are the representatives of a long line of people
And we carry them around everywhere
This long line of people
That goes back to the beginning of time
And when we meet, they meet, other lines of people
And we say bring together the lines of me.”