When I think of human nature I tend to think of the general human nature(s) that we all share such as those listed by Donald E Brown (List of Human Universals) as well as our individual human nature(s). This post is about our individual nature(s).
Assuming that as individuals we have certain behavioral tendencies that that we are drawn toward because they feel satisfying specifically to us, such as an activity like canoeing or making pottery, I have noticed that distractions that are ultimately less satisfying inhibit my ability to engage in my favorite activities, such as checking the news on my phone. This has lead me to believe that even though we do have individual tendencies that make up what I would consider to be our authentic self, those tendencies can be counteracted or supported in a very powerful way by our environment. Two ways that our environment inhibits or supports our authentic individual nature is through habit and accessibility. These are very powerful external forces that can play a determining role on our behavior in spite of a factor from our individual nature that would suggest that we engage in another activity. A third important influence is the structure of principles that we impose on ourselves such as helping someone in need. These inhibitors can be positive forces such as encouraging exercise and healthy diet or negative, such as getting sidetracked by the almost random flow of information so easily accessible. Over time the inhibitors can take over and obscure our authentic nature necessitating a change of environment so that our natural tendencies can emerge once again. Is this incredibly obvious to everyone out there? and what actions do you take to counteract the inhibitors? Let me know in the reply below or post to the life insights topic on the discussion board.