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What % of who you are is genetics vs your choices?

Topic #291:

What % of who and what you are is determined by genetics vs your own choices? Is it 50/50 or more or less of one?

Or should there be three numbers: your genetics, how you were raised, and your own choices (33/33/33 or 10/40/50).

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  1. I really have to think on this one. Basically I don’t have much of a choice. Genetics and upbringing bottleneck the availability of my choices. So I can’t help it. Being who I am and becoming the wholeness of what I really am. My limited choice is my actual choice choice. 30/50/100. I wonder if that even makes sense. …. !

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  2. What percentage? That varies from day to day. On my bad days, I’m about %40 genetics -%60 choices, as I inherited my Mom’s and my Dad’s tempers and manipulative tendencies.. On really bad days, I have to go with %5 – %95, (I’ve made a lot of very bad choices.) And on the great days, it’s also %5 – %95, because some of my choices have been smart and successful and very beneficial. Ask me again tomorrow — the numbers will likely be different.

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  3. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What you do defines who you are. But, we don’t take after our ancestors, rather, we are born into families that are most like us. I know we live life after life, meet the same people over and over, have ties that endure forever. Mozart didn’t inherit his musical abilities from his parents; Mozart was born to a family where he had the best venue for the talents he had developed over lifetimes. It’s a subtle distinction and you have to believe in reincarnation. But, I do, so.

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  4. And this way of viewing life destroys all attempts to blame our genetics or environment. If, as a returning soul, you are born into an environment that will enable you to have the best possible growth as an eternal soul, you have to develop on your own. So you had bad parents, so you were born poor, so you were born in a terrible place; if you were born to privilege, born to too much wealth, whatever, this is your life lesson, the school room of life, so to speak, where you will have to learn to excel, develop talents, help others, help yourself. There is more to this existence than we know and what may seem like a terrible/horrible/wonderful/sad lifetime, is just one semester of an education that never ends.

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  5. there are characters in our person comes from both parents, while growing up those characters develop to grow better and stronger , and become a choice of what we want to be. so i think its 20% genetics, 40% on how we are raised and 40% our choices. it is a matter of how we are raised to prepare us in our life long struggle and when we are ready it is in our hands how to handle our selves.

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  6. Depends on what you mean by “who you are.” You don’t have choices in all the circumstances of your life, but you do always have 100% of the choice of how to deal with those circumstances. You may not like the choices, and they might be difficult to make. I think that the gap between who you are and who you want to be, or think you should be, needs to be put into any meaningful consideration.

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  7. I think it is around 50/25/25.
    But it is different for different things, for height it is about 80/20.
    For personality it is 20/80.
    For intelligence 50/50.
    For behaviour in general 35/65.

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  8. I . . . don’t like this question. It’s football Sunday. No time for deep thinking. Football! Football!

    I’d have to say choices plays a greater part than genetics. Too many people blame their childhood and/or parentage when they screw up.

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    1. True, it is football and HTTR (Hail to the Redskins), but I feel a neurotic need to point out that while I do completely agree with your post, genetics and upbringing are two different things.

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      1. Hail to the Cowboys!

        Yeah, genetics and upbringing are two different things . . . I guess I meant that a lot of people point to an alcoholic or criminal parent and say, “That’s why I am the way I am. It’s in my family’s blood to drink and deal drugs and knock over ATMs. I can’t be held responsible.”

        If I’d known the Cowboys were going to bolo their game with the Eagles that badly, I would’ve stayed on WordPress and clarified my point. 🙂

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  9. As a woman who was adopted at age 6, I’ve always had these very same questions.

    I have no idea what % of who I am came from genetics, vs. what I made of myself by myself. I look at my own children, and when they do/say something completely foreign, I have to wonder… “Was that a result of their own creativity, or did that come from somewhere else?”

    Great questions!

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    1. Yes, it’s odd how genetics seem to pop up. Once, I said to my father, “Well, that’s the difference between a race horse and a plow horse.” He stared at me and said that his mother always said that. But I’d never heard her say it, don’t know where it came from. And my son has done things that his gr-aunt did, very specific things, and I never knew her, knew very little about her, nothing about the traits that popped up, and my son never saw her once. Stuff like this pops up all the time in our family. And in all families, I think, if people would look. Tracing our family tree back to 900 A.D., a disproportion of lawyers, advisors high up in government, ministers and criminals. Hmm.

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  10. It sounds like a combination of heritage and environment…that percentage is a difficult one depending on what phase or stage of one’s life a person or body might be in at a given point in time. All told, balance it better. I agree with the aim for an even 50/50

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  11. I suggest the overall percentage is 30/40/30…One’s genetics are very important….and recent research into to this factor is quite overwhelming. I also think one’s up bringing can have a very significant effect on how we live ours lives, be it for the positive or negative…ere go the last factor! One’s own choice …a combination of the first two…so I supose that essentially Genetics and upbringing are the key factors…and lean towards upbringing…but I have known quite a few people who have had a terrible upbringing and made a very good life for themselves…so perhaps the choices we make are based on our genetics….This is a very complex question and I don’t think there is any one answer

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  12. I think this goes back to the argument of ‘Nature vs Nurture’ – which I think shouldn’t be a 50/50. Therefore the 1/3 partition of upbringing should be followed. Meaning there is a third contribution of each, genetics, upbringing and personal development (your own choices).

    That’s the tripod that everyone needs to strive balance of to further yourself and discover your potentials.

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  13. This is a great question and relevant since I am currently taking a Behavioral Science course (Full Sail University). My genetics and the environment I grew up in plays a small part, but I believe my choices have a great deal to do with who I am. My answer would be 10/10/80 for genetics/environment/choices.

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  14. I am 40% my father for his strength in opening a business, his need to be right when he’s clearly wrong and his ability to make people comfortable in any situation. I am 40% my mother in my ability to explain things clearly, my brains and my positive outlook on life, 20% of my choices are my own, because some of the choices I have made had never been presented to either of my parents in their lives, but my ability to offer fast solutions to problems, my social butterfly nature, and my love of dancing and culture is all me!

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  15. a great deal of who you are is based on genetics this has been proven by twin studies where twins who were seperated at birth which mean they were placed in different environments turned out to be alot like each other. and this is further proven by the fact that identical twins are much more alike than fraternal twins.

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  16. The three (choice/genetics/how you are raised) is a circle that feeds itself yet any break in one of the categories can be overcome through the combined forces of the other two. There are things that your genes determine about you but you can choose to not allow those to box you in and limit your potential. The way your parents (or whoever) raised you does in some ways determine how you will react but, again, you can choose to rise above your roots. In effect you can really choose to do anything. Your roots and your genes give you a basis but your choices are yours to make and cannot be dictated by how you are raised or how smart or skilled your genes say you are. You build yourself with your own choices. You cannot blame others for your circumstances. You can only rise above them through choice and perspective.

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