Have you ever used a potter's wheel? (Or at least witnessed the use of one?) A slippery, slate grey, and formless mass is placed at the center of a circular slab, and with gentle foot compressions it rotates. Hands barely cupping either side, to smooth out the bumps and knobs. Around and around it goes, then with applied pressure here, a shape appears. Your thumb creates a growing bowl. And with practiced guidance the walls grow up, the sides become thinner, and it can be felt; this delicacy, that if you push and stretch the clay too far, it will crumple into itself.
This is the image that came to mind, when I tried to explain self-monitoring behavior (in the entrepreneurial spirit/context) to a friend the other day. When an idea is cultivated and a plan of action is initiated, there are many shapes it can take on. With something new the risk is often high, so it is only natural to be extra careful in the beginning. The development stage is where the most caution is taken, trying to "smooth out" all the things that one has control over, preparing for all the possibilities; success or failure. Then with determination and optimistic focus, it grows, you make changes to adjust, you become an expert of your own idea. At some point you become comfortable, some level of success has been achieved, or a goal has been met, but you are still not satisfied. Now is this where greed and ego manifest? Or was it lying underneath and at the root of the initial idea? A person's character is to be considered here as well; their moral aptitude. Ultimately, the decision must be made; to grow or stabilize? Because in anything, if you push too much and you keep demanding more and more, there comes a point when you have lost sight of that creative passion and have forgotten why you had thought up the idea in the first place. Some people learn the lesson early on, but for others, well, you can only pray they do before it's too late.
For the writers out there: "I don't believe writers can be made, either by circumstances or by self-will. The equipment comes with the original package. [And they are formed]" -Stephen King, On Writing
So, does this mean we are born the person we are going to be for the rest of our lives, despite overcoming challenges and accruing experiences? Try as we might to change and learn from the lessons, will we always gravitate toward that which is in our nature?