Self Determinism

woman leaping over a crevice

Today my psychological word of the day is determinism.

Determinism is defined in the  American Psychological Association (APA) as – the doctrine that all events-physical, behavioral, and mental-are determined by specific causal factors that are potentially knowable.

What this mean for you in your ongoing life of fitting into this world is that you can know before hand those conditions that will propel you forward or in other words make the decisions that best uplift your present state of being. It is through the past that you make the decision you are making today. And, you cannot change your past, but you can contemplate that past as you make decision that will affect your future.

Causal factors are those events that have already happened, hence the past  is important in determining how we will act in the future.

You have heard those wise old saying;

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

The past doesn’t define your future

Consider the past and you shall know the future – Chinese Proverbs

Determinism is often thought of in philological ideas, such as Determinism vs. Free Will.

For example the woman in the above photo was guided by determinism, she made the free will jump based on conditions from the past.  The jump was determined prior to her jumping, although she could have made the decision not to jump, which would also have been determined from her past, so either way the jumps was or would not have been determined.

You can watch this fun video on the subject of Determinism vs. Free Will. The moderator talks very fast, but cover the subject pretty well. check it out!

Man looking down at railroad tracks that say Don't Lose Heart

How Archetypes Personas Quietly Operate in Your Psyches

archetypes strong hero woman s

Oh dear, it seems I am carrying around so much emotions from the past. And, I don’t mean childhood past, I am doing that too, but from civilizations past. Understanding these archetypes and how they apply is ever so confusing.

It seems I am ego all the way though with a hint of soul type and I actually think the ego type is pretty awesome. So, I can tell people I am a soulful ego and I am sure they would not have a clue what I am talking about, but just shake their heads in wonder. Probably to polite to say “Yep, definitely an ego there!”

I remember attending a women’s retreat and we were to divide into four types; healer, teacher, warrior, mystic. I had decided I was a warrior, because the warrior defended, supported and lead the tribe. That was the type that spoke to me the most and as it was there were only two of us women out of 24 that felt to be warriors. So, I guess I haven’t changed much because Hero a.k.a.  warrior is an archetype of the ego type.

Here is the psychological definition of archetype:

Archetype ~ A universal, inherited, primitive, and symbolic representation of a particular experience or object. In Jungian psychology, a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches. If you have long blonde hair, a sparkly ball gown, and a fairy godmother hovering over your head, you’re the archetype of a fairytale princess. You can find all of my psychological terms for the day here.

archetypes yellow pixie dancing


Click on link below to read about the different archetypes and see where you land or get a feel for the ones that speak to you.

Find your hidden personas

What this means for you


  • Archetypes represent some part of your unconscious
  • Identifying your archetypes help to discover your motivations
  • Understanding your motivations lead you to self-discovery
  • Self-discovery improves your life


  • Read about the different archetypes
  • Pick two that resonance with you
  • Think deeply or meditate on the two you picked
  • Think about these archetypes as being you in your past, present and future
  • Write down your feelings and thoughts about your two archetypes

As you work through the various archetypes you will feel some much stronger in your persona than others, delve deeper into their meaning in your life and discover a hidden you.

Additional reading on archetypes and theology:

Red Dress Theology

Make Happy Memories Last – Love Your Life

Kids splashing in the waves

I am totally amazed when a friend reminds me of something we did many years ago. How on earth does she remember that incident. As she starts to describe what the day was like, what we were doing , where we were, it seems a very vague memory comes to the surface. But, of course I doubt if it is a real memory or just a faint feeling that yes I was there.

So, she says to me “Remember that guy at the park that wanted to pay us to clean his house?” Hmmm, no. “Yeah, we went down to the beach that day stopped at the park to watch the old guys play bocce ball. And this old man told us he had just lost his wife, but it had actually been two years ago, anyway he wanted to know if we would come over and clean his house.” Hmmm, no, but yeah maybe I kind of remember.

So, I did a little digging about this memory stuff and learned something called Levels of Processing.

We process information in three different ways:

1. Memory structure process is the pattern of association among items of information that is stored in memory.

For instance, if I give you two statements and you must answer yes or no: This sentence is in english. This sentence is in Times New Roman font. Which do you answer more quickly? You  probably found This sentence is in english produced a faster response. This is because your long term memory is organized as a network of linked ideas. Knowing english words is closer in your memory than knowing the names of fonts. Names for fonts are “farther” apart in your memory and takes a longer chain of associations to connect them.

2. Phonemic processing – which is when we encode its sound.

My name is Victoria and I may have only introduced myself once, but I often get called Veronica or Virginia. At least the person remembered my name started with a V.  So, the sounds of names or words go into short term memory and what is termed shallow processing, it takes some deep processing to really remember things in long term memory or a deeper process of memory.

~ Which brings me to

3. Semantic processing – serves as a mental dictionary or encyclopedia of basic knowledge.

That must be why some people have encyclopedic memories, that part of their memory just works better than most. So, with a semantic memory -long term memory- simple math skills , word and language, and other general facts are really lasting. It is our basic factual knowledge.

Deep processing involves a more meaningful analysis of information and leads to better recall. In other words, there are just more things that relate to that memory which makes it easier to recall.

And, this is why I want you to take action today.

So why is this important for you to know?

Do you remember any of those happy times from childhood? Those memories are likely triggered by the circumstance surrounding them, and you can bring them to the surface easily. The same goes for unhappy times, but sometimes you just don’t want to remember because they were unpleasant, but they are affecting you just the same. That is our human survival mode operating unconsciously in the background. Even if we don’t remember we intuitively know what will keep us safe.

But, now you find yourself all grown up with these memories and some memories not-so-well-remembered.

The pleasant ones, focus on those because I want you to also focus on making new pleasant memories so they can guide you toward a happier self.

everyone at the beach


  • Memory has levels of processing
  • Memories from childhood can make you happy or sad
  • How deeply you focused on those early memories can determine your behavior
  • New memories can also having lasting effects on your behavior and thinking



McLeod, S. A. (2007). Levels of Processing. Retrieved from Levels of Processing

Introduction to Psychology (1998) Memory pg 414-322

Do these three things to be productive.

Three things to help you be more productive

The following steps are not that difficult to implement so just make it simple and enjoy the process. You will truly be amazed on your productiveness.


racoon bandit, time stealers








Number one is to be organized, I can’t say enough about this step. If you can’t find what you need when you need it, your efforts become a time waster. And when you feel you are wasting your time you may become frustrated and stop whatever it is you need to accomplish. There are many great tips that can be found on the internet to stop the lack of organization bandits. 


Make a plan and set goals! How else are you going to stay on task? Make a list of what you need to do, but don’t make just a to-do list, make it an action plan list. What is it that needs to be accomplished, what steps, what action must be taken to achieve the end results. Your end goal, is the plan, now how do you get there and in what time frame,take the time to plan it out and write it down


pretty girl holding camera for focus














Number three in importance, is…ah… where was I…ah…where’s that plan…ah…oh wait I need to check Pinterest first…Facebook…you get the picture. You must stay focused, set a time limit and stick to it before you move on to those other great distractions in your life. It is amazing what you can eventually get done if you devote just 15 minutes a day. Give it an hour and holy moly, you will be far ahead of the pack.

So what are you waiting for, get organized, make a plan and stay focused.

What do you not know?

small grooupd discussing their knowledge of concepts

Do you know or don’t you?

In psychology, this powerful but inaccurate feeling of knowing is what Leonid Rozenblit and Frank Keil in 2002 termed, the illusion of explanatory depth (IOED), stating, “Most people feel they understand the world with far greater detail, coherence, and depth than they really do.” A great name for a simple concept. It means you think you fully understand something that you actually don’t.

An undeveloped gap in knowledge means you might not fully understand a problem. That in turn can hinder new and unique solutions. It is very helpful to explain concepts to yourself as you learn them. This gets you in the habit of self-teaching which can show you when your explanations have knowledge gaps. You can then identify words and concepts whose meanings aren’t clear. At this point you can seek out clarity for a stronger and more meaningful understanding.

It is also helpful to engage others in collaborative learning. By doing this it helps further to identify the knowledge gaps of the people around you. Ask them to explain difficult concepts, even if you think everyone understands them. Not only will this help you to work through new ideas, it will occasionally uncover places where your colleagues don’t understand critical aspects of an explanation.

When you do uncover these gaps, treat them as learning opportunities, not signs of weakness. After all, successful development rests on the assumption that you and the people around you have a high-quality understanding of the problem. Therefore, sometimes, uncovering the flaw in that assumption will help you find a solution.

So final words, it is just as important to know what you don’t know as understanding what you do know. Never be afraid of what you don’t know and always question what you think you know.