Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Following Your Natural Inclinations

McAllen Creative Incubator
Image by shainelee via Flickr
Lately, I have been grappling with the question of whether one should follow their natural inclinations. In one sense, this can be seen as following your instincts. This serves well for many people. However, the advice is not a good general statement. For example, an alcoholic's natural inclination is to have another drink. Is that instinct?

On the one hand, there are some of you who accomplish great things doing something passionately when everybody thought you were crazy. You did it because you had a vision. Your vision may be an art, a business, a community project, or even effectively managing your family. You did it because it seemed like the right thing to do. Something in your gut told you it has to be done. You did it because it was in your nature to do it.

Or, you may be one of those folks whose natural inclinations may be destructive. No doubt, we all know of somebody who got involved with the wrong crowd, started using drugs, or is a pervert who will unsurprisingly get arrested for doing something awful. But, even they are not always completely bad. They may have some wonderful genius they share with the world along with that destructive inclination.

How can we justify encouraging folks to do what comes naturally to them without giving them license to do bad things?

This is a philosophical question that came to mind recently as I think ahead to advice to give my children.

Am I looking at this wrong? What do you think?

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