Every seed we plant contains a huge amount of information in it. With this information the seed knows the exact time, down to the millisecond, when it is to come alive and grow,what juices it is to take from the earth, how to make use of the rays of the sun and moon, what it is to grow into, what height, what fruit to bring forth, and much more. This is a seed’s DNA.

People also have DNA, and while some of their attributes and certainly their habits can, I grant you, change over time and with effort, most people don’t – by choice or circumstance or opportunity.

And that is why we need to understand as much as possible about the natures of people in order to recognize the “seeds” we are dealing with before we employ them, befriend them, adopt them, marry them, or partners with them in some other way. We will do well to understand human nature and the way people are programmed if we are to make good choices regarding those whom we invite and allow into our lives.

I suggest to people that they understand this vital information, read and absorb Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead” and Orwell’s “1984,” understand the import of Eric Hoffer’s book, “The True Believer,” and immerse themselves in The “Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers,” William Golding’s “The Lord of the Flies,” and, most importantly of all, the Bible.

Now the reaction of most people to the last paragraph, instead of being one of intrigue and excited, positive anticipation, will be negative: “Where does this bald fool expect me to find the time to read all those books and watch three hours of videos? I know enough!” And that, my friend, is exactly why most people won’t choose to change when the opportunity arises. Instead of watching and learning from YouTube videos featuring Dinesh D’Souza, they will watch mind numbing rubbish. Laziness, arrogance surpassed only by ignorance, and the very things described in these books and videos.

Those who are properly informed can create a mental GPS, if they so wish, to chart the murky waters of personal relationships and save themselves heartaches, financial loss, time, frustration, disappointment, and bruised knuckles instead of learning by their mistakes, which often (to which I can attest) have long lasting effects. I would rather make a better choice by enjoying one of these extraordinarily interesting books for a few hours than suffering the consequences of a bad, ill-informed choice for years – wouldn’t you?

Finally, we become like those with whom we spend the most time, simply because we tend to be exposed to the same information and make the same choices that they do. In my church, for example, I am privileged to spend time with people who share my values and beliefs, and we can enjoy mutual support and encouragement. And I am extremely selective – increasingly so as I age – of those with whom I choose to do business. It pays dividends.

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com