Here at Derivative Psychology, we're working hard to undermine the values of the old guard and raise up in their place an approach to the mind that weaves through the rest of the life sciences with a realistic gradient of applicability. Ant colonies most likely have little need for theories on dreams and Behavioral Psychology is but a portion of what it means to be conscious but what we seem to have today is a formulae of sorts that consolidates the behaviors of birds and claims that their findings should apply to humans. While I'm sure that comparison is a bit of an oversimplification, the same could be said of modern psychology in its current form.
Just so we're on the level and because I feel it needs repeating every few installments or so, Derivative Psychology is unaffiliated, unfunded and maybe most importantly, uninterrupted.
While there's no doubt that in our day to day, break-downs in communication, chemical imbalances and neurological disorders are to blame for many unhealthy behaviors, psychology and academia seem to be content merely changing a negative characteristic into a positive one. Rarely do we instill in each other the kinds of qualities that foster confidence, creative intelligence and communication. Intelligence is a light and the brighter we are the farther we can see in the dark. Combine a well lit mind with a little bit of courage and grit and there's not a lot that can hold us back.
On that note, Most of us are relatively unburdened by the kind of psychological plaque that keeps the afflicted from comfortably functioning within a society and for those who do suffer, the road is long and not very well lit. When someone is determined to lose weight, they have a variety of strategies that might help them reach that goal but psychology doesn't necessarily have those same tried and true steps to follow when I want to learn how to think outside the box or face the unknown. Psychologists might offer some loose verbiage on opening oneself up to new experiences, but there are large gaps where an understanding where intelligence and the moral virtues form.
To answer this question, I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that everyone has the ability to think like those we admire. Adults are usually set in their ways but invention, energy and a desire to explore are things that kids are naturally inclined to do and most often, 'must do' in order to be successful. To foster boldness, inventiveness and creativity, it takes little more than a personal spark that inspires us and a little coaxing by an attentive outsider to get the forming brain to equip itself with questions and ideas rather than opinions and limits. To what degree we ruin that as people reach adulthood is for another time, but for now, we can agree that kids can be pretty imaginative and most adults are, well, not so much.
Unfortunately, the bad news for us comes in the form of time. Our childhood seems to be the key to self-actualization and if we investigate, the intellectual giants all seem to have some childhood story that became a 'turning point' -and maybe most of us do too, but the question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not we returned to water that seed over time or did we just move on once we heard our friends and family beckon?
As a father of two little girls, I'm wary of the child who isn't comfortable entertaining themselves. They need alone time to develop their own problems and figure out how to solve them. If my four year old is scared of the dark and wants something out of her room, I'd rather hand her a flashlight and watch her creep down the creaky hallway alone than escort her, flipping on all the lights as we go. I know it seems like a little thing, but they make vast differences in our personalities later on. Our affect on our children over time is massive, so much so that it can be a little scary to think about.
It's all but certain that intelligence and creativity is a combination of nature and nurture and I'd go so far as to say that a child's decision to monitor an ant colony or go inside and watch television are largely determined by the actions displayed and limits set up by the parent. Kids are often in the eyesight of their parents and nipped at and nudged instead of allowed to mess up and fix the problem. In the end, this article turned into a statement on parenting, but only because children grow up and tend to have the same kind of questions that we do now.
The formation of the mind shouldn't be a mystery, the core of it lie in our childhood. We put a few new layers of wisdom on every decade or so and we're not only responsible for handing our children the flashlight and illuminating in them the characteristics that lead to discovery and independence, but whether or not they will be able to see far enough ahead that they can still pursue their dreams and goals when things get dark and mysterious.