By guest author Josh Landson
Many people have equated human nature with human condition and use this connection to justify delaying or outright avoiding difficult decisions. The fact of the matter is that the phrases are very different from one another. Human nature refers to the instincts that we have: the ways in which we act and think without the influence of our upbringing and culture. The human condition is the opposite of human nature: it is a combination of the social, personal, and cultural aspects of our being. The human condition is extremely important in our lives because it allows us to rise above our nature.
When a person says that human nature is the reason they cannot make a decision in their lives, they should be challenging themselves to overcome their biological design. In many cases, a person resigns themselves to their fate, stating that ‘whatever happens, happens.’ However, the reason that human beings have achieved so much in our short history and triumphed above all other organisms is that we strive beyond what is expected of us and do what seems impossible. For many people, settling for whatever happens is a defense mechanism. If you do not make a decision, you do not have to be responsible for the repercussions.
In order to get past this monumental roadblock, a person has to tap into their human condition.
It requires a complete change in the way you think. If you are avoiding change and denying decision making, you have to realize that your action is in itself a decision! The decision you are making is not to act. Thus the consequences are your responsibility just the same as if you had acted.
There is another reason why people avoid or delay making a change.
Most of the time, people do not trust themselves over a decision. They think they aren’t good enough, smart enough, strong enough, and so on. This insecurity plagues every individual and it takes a lot of mental courage to overcome it. However, our human condition tells us that we are capable of achieving great things. If you are going to make a monumental decision, take a minute to do a mental exercise: take all of your presuppositions about your weakness to be true, and picture what the worst outcome would be. Now think about how you can rebuild from that outcome. You will find soon enough that your human condition allows you to work out any problem if you apply enough effort and determination.
Lastly, if you are still hesitant about making a change in your life, think about the historical precedents we have. Think about what would have happened if Martin Luther King Jr. was too afraid to make a stand for civil rights, or if Gandhi didn’t fight for the poor, or if no one stood up to the likes of Hitler. There have been many life changing events in history that wouldn’t have occurred without some very brave people. And you have the exact same human nature as them! Avoiding and delaying decision making will lead to a lot of mental turmoil and self-doubt. Although you may be uncertain about a change in your life, if you do not venture down that path it is something you’re likely to regret for a long time.