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Personal Development: Traits - Inherited or Developed

Personal development varies in the sense that it is unique and personal to each and every person. Discovering yourself is what personal development is all about. Personal development has no set of rules or regulations and experiences can differ from person to person.


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Diksha Sharma

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Aakriti Club, JIMS VK

2 years ago | 3 min read

Personal Development

Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who proposed a famous psychological idea that proposed that an individual’s behaviour is dictated by human needs of five categories in ascending order. One cannot move upwards in achieving self - actualization without fulfilling their basic physiological and emotional needs. 

These needs begin from basic survival needs through food, water, shelter, etc. and proceed to safety requirements such as property, health and employment. Furthermore, an individual wishes to feel loved and belonged amongst family and friends. This leads to them getting a boost in their esteem through social recognition, respect and freedom. When an individual fulfills all four categories of needs, he/she aims for self - actualization. 

Personal development varies in the sense that it is unique and personal to each and every person. For an introvert, increased interaction may signify personality development which is an inherent trait of an extrovert. Therefore, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs does not necessarily be achieved in the given order to attain self - actualization. More than anything else, discovering yourself is what personal development is all about and some achieve that without even the basic needs sometimes. Personal development has no set of rules or regulations and experiences can differ from person to person.

Traits - Inherited or Developed

Genetics play a deciding factor in our physical features, habits and intellect. Would it be possible for them to mould our personality as well? An inherent issue with this possibility is that it would lead to human clusters that are a reflection of others which makes most people similar in nature. Humans would lose the uniqueness that sets them apart from other animals. 

This is also where the nature VS nurture debate comes in and we question if personality traits can be inherited naturally through our parents and ancestors or can we develop them through life experiences all by ourself. As stated earlier, we are all unique in our personalities yet we see a strong resemblance of our parents in ourselves at times. 

It crucial for this study, that we understand that all kinds of traits might not be inherited, neither developed. Therefore, there is no one answer to the question of traits being inherited or developed because every person’s personality is shaped by his or her genetics as well as live experiences. 

An individual might inherit a particular trait from a parent, for example let’s say self - doubt. This will lead him/her to question their life decisions constantly at every step of life and never be able to trust or believe in themselves. Looking at the positive aspect of this inherited trait, we can tell that this person is his/her own biggest critic which means they would do their tasks to perfection and might always be ahead of competition. This can lead to a gradual shift in their trait of self - doubt and allow them to develop a more laid back approach towards life because their success now allows them to believe in themselves.

A pattern is common when it comes to professions. Our work life occupies majority of our time period and therefore is a major deciding factor in our lives. Yet, sometimes profession is hereditary which means that the children follow in the footsteps of their parents and that is what becomes a deciding factor in their personalities as well.

When an individual breaks the pattern and chooses to do something completely different from what his/her family does, they develop a new skillset, trait, personality which sets them completely apart from their inherited qualities. Life constantly evolves and adapts to situations and while some traits are inherited to face them, others develop with time and age.

Personal development of a person is dependent on how we preserve inherited traits and utilise them accurately according to our situations and how we adapt and develop traits that can help us through hurdles. No one can survive only on just one kind of trait. It is always a balance of both kinds of traits that helps us grow.

From the time of birth until the moment of demise, we carry inherited traits and develop necessary traits to help us survive and aid our personal growth and development. This balance and the choices we make in life determine how we help ourselves to grow. Hence, it is important to not just rely on one trait. Personal development is a step by step process that demands complete dedication to understand yourself and your life and you cannot do that without understanding your traits.

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Diksha Sharma

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Aakriti Club, JIMS VK


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