In Brisbane this week and I just finished teaching a seminar on the Unfinished Work of Ancestors, exploring how our relative ease and/or discomfort in the world is influenced by generational issues and attitudes, known and unknown, seen and unseen. The wars, famines, forced migrations, poverty, and challenges of our ancestors still reverberate through us today, and influence how we live with others, deal with such issues as money, relationship, work, authority.

Is it really possible to change our patterns of behavior that have been laid down for generations? How long does it take to start a new pattern when there are powerful generational forces influencing us?

It requires far more than a change of circumstance or fortune to change behaviors. It requires a new attitude, new worldviews and these are difficult to establish. research into changing generational patterns concerning poverty and education show that, among others, the follow two factors are crucial in helping change behavior:

  • mentoring and relationship, someone who not only advises or supports the change, but who models the new behavior, giving us picture of a new possibility.
  • high expectations, a parent, teacher, mentor or family friend who expects us to succeed.

In short, a different worldview about ourselves and about what’s possible.