Nature or nurture? Heredity or environment? Born or made?

These are questions I’ve been asked ever since I studied psychology in college.

Which one matters more?

Yesterday morning I spoke for a group of top performing Allianz retirement consultants in Scottsdale, AZ…

Yeah yeah, I know the weather that hit the midwest this week. I was in it until Thursday so I can post this picture and not feel like I'm rubbing it in!

Anyway, the night before I had dinner with the group. Unfortunately, my travel schedule doesn't always allow this but I LOVE it when it does. These are the top 50 performers in the entire company and I can learn as much from these Outperformers as they do from me.

We got on the topic of: Competitiveness.

Specifically, how much of it can be learned?

Outperformers love to geek out on this stuff but I had to give them the disappointing answer of:

We'll never know.

I explained that the only way you can determine this is by studying identical twins that were separated at birth. Because they have identical DNA, all differences in how they turn out are due to nurture. Or environment. Or made.

Then, you also need to find a valid statistical measure of competitiveness that has external validity to the real world. And you can also guess that there aren't that many identical twins separated at birth so the sample size is incredibly small.

Are you happy to be geeking out over this, too 🙂

But my follow up comment to "We'll never know" was:

Why does it matter? Which part can we control?

We can't reverse engineer our parents. Our DNA is what it is. I readily admit that we're all born on a continuum of more or less in regards to ALL mental traits but that part is fixed. Unchangeable.

We CAN change what we do with it.

So, whether heredity vs. environment is 50/50, 60/40, 70/30, 80/20, etc., really is irrelevant.

What you choose to do with the 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, or anything else, IS relevant. It is the only thing that matters. The only thing we can control.

Make it count.

Keep Outperforming,