The 1 equation to change your life: the 3 steps to unlock the potential of your DNA. Limitless? Almost!
Back in High school, a long long time ago, I was amazed when I heard about DNA or DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. This double helix molecule was a treasure from my ancestors to me. In that tiny object, my whole genetic life was coded and encrypted.
Often we have assumptions or we hear that we cannot be more than our DNA. When repeated long enough, we internalize the fact that our DNA is our legacy, a code that cannot be cracked. We are made to believe that just we are what our parents, our grandparents, or our ancestors left for us in our DNA.
To me that is true. Well to some extent. Let me explain. Yes, both my parents are Black, so obviously I am Black. I might have coded in my DNA some diseases that were part of my lineage, like Drepanocytosis or Spondylarthrosis. But for the most part of who I am really, I believe that I can change my DNA at its core.
Often we believe that we are the prisoners of our DNA. Yet some studies show that we are mainly the results of the environment we are in, and the people we are surrounded with. This is called Epigenetics.
In this article, I will share with you 3 steps that I use to alter my DNA. Before we start, let me give you my definition of DNA.
For me DNA stands for:
In order to alter the DNA of our life, we have to follow the 3 steps below. Each time we are facing a roadblock regarding something we want to achieve in our life, we can break it into the 3 following steps.
1. EXPRESS OUR DESIRE — A desire simply expressed is something we want from the external world. It is as simple as that.
I remember when I was in Dakar, Senegal. I really wanted to come to Europe. I was watching a lot of television. I was seeing all those people in nice cars, beautiful buildings, and clean streets, having whatever they wanted. Well, this was how I pictured it as a teenager. From me, I wanted to come to Europe to get all those material things and be successful.
By expressing our desire, we must identify the external target we want to hit. By external, I mean, outside of us. This first step is paramount to help us know what we are going for.
It is something tangible that we can identify and put on the map of our lives.
2. IDENTIFY OUR NEEDS — Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a great tool to narrow down the needs in our life.
As stated by Maslow, we all have psychological needs in life: love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization:
Identifying those needs can help us narrow down the reasons why we want to go on a journey to achieve something. Psychological needs are the reflection of our weaknesses. This is why it is key to always identify them.
Coming back to me wanting to come to Europe, my psychological need was that I needed to achieve things by myself. I believed that coming to Europe and making it on my own would help feed my self-confidence. It did to some extent.
Yet those needs are only one facet of the coin of needs. If we really want to fulfill the full spectrum, we must also encompass other types of needs.
Those are moral needs. You may ask what moral needs are. Well simply put, a moral need is related to others. It is how our actions are affecting others and their psychological needs.
I was so much focused on making it on my own in Europe that I self-isolated myself from the rest of the world. I was often reluctant to reach out to others and to ask for help. I wanted to tell them that I didn’t need them. And not letting people in was hurting my relationship with friends and family.
3. TAKE ACTION — Once we have expressed our desire as a visible target, once we have identified both our psychological and moral needs, we are ready to take action.
The two first steps are key to help us go on the journey of change. Indeed in order to take action in everything we do, we need fuel for such a journey to propel us forward in life.
This is the equation for change:
Change = (Desire + Needs) x Action (1)
In order to change the DNA of anything we want in life, we have to combine it with action. Indeed without action, there is no change.
I knew that I wanted to be successful. Yet I wanted to redefine what success means to me. As I took actions to fulfill my desire to acquire material success and build confidence, I was still missing the moral need for success. I came to the realization that I needed to take action to also include not only my friends and family but the whole world in my version of success.
To help me take action and change anything in my life, I use the Pain/Pleasure framework. Simply put, I associate a lot of pain in not taking action and a massive pleasure in doing the opposite.
Pain — I just imagine my future self and how that person will suffer for my inactions today.
Pleasure — I just imagine the compound positive effects that my future self is reaping for the small seeds I planted today.
If we summarize, in order to change, we need to take action. To do so we need to identify our external desires, the things outside of us we want to achieve. Then we also need to clearly identify the psychological and moral needs that are not fulfilled.
Once we have identified all the components of the equation (1) of change, we can just hit enter and let the magic unfold before our eyes and to the rest of the world.
How do you initiate change in your life?
Why do you think your DNA is a raw diamond and not carved in stone?
When was the last time you welcomed change in your life?
Leave a comment below.
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You can read my previous article on Want to invite resilience in your life? Assemble your team of Avengers. This is not the Endgame. This is just the beginning.