Faber est suae quisque fortunae.

  Every man is the maker of his own destiny.

  Appius Claudius Caecus  340-273 B.C.


Every journey through life has its own obstacles. Some of these obstacles are higher or lower for each person individually and also vary in difficulty for different people. Some people have more support early in life than others. Some psychologists and psychotherapists in general believe that healthy early life experiences form the building blocks for later emotional resilience and capacity. Further, that early life experiences and the emotional defences that are generated can persist in the type of neurotic patterns that occur throughout life. Some people can easily traverse the obstacles that are set before them and others do so only with difficulty. Some people require assistance and some do not. Some patterns learned through positive early life experience may lead to easy success in navigating life demands. However, trauma in early life may lead to more difficulty. According to Eric Berne, founder of Transactional  Analysis, this may in part be due to the early formation of an unconscious life story or script which may detemine patterns of reactions and relationships. These patterns are called racket systems by Berne and the characteristic feelings at the end of a pattern are called racket feelings. In a way your racket feelings can be regarded as your favourite bad feeling, maybe depression, anxiety, sadness, anger, disappointment, mistrust, fear, guilt, whatever. They may recur regularly and characteristically in a predictable way. This can serve to reinforce underlying beliefs and life script.

In this sense, the motto quoted above by Caecus is plainly wrong. Each person may have their destiny laid out for them. However, self-leadership allows  transformational psychological changes through personal awareness. These changes may take place through learning through personal experiences and might also involve mentoring or some other form of psychotherapy or counselling. Eric Berne developed an ‘ego state’ model which illustrated how transactions take place between the so called Child, Adult, and Parent  parts both within each person and between different people. Each person’s history and reaction pattern is embedded in this model and it informs communication patterns both internally and externally. Understanding the pattern and the assumptions and beliefs that have been self-sustained is the key to rising above them. This then allows different choices and potentially different outcomes from the set script. In this way, the motto of Caecus above becomes more accurate. Understanding of historical causality and defence allows more room for current accurate reality checking and mutuality. Although the saying of Caecus above is the motto of some schools, including my own high school, it is unfortunate that academic learning alone does not address the emotional learning that may need to take place to make the motto useful. 

Personal self-leadership as described above not only may allow better personal relationships but also better and more objective decision-making in the work place. Communication between managers and subordinates may escape characteristic Parent-Child traps. This can be true on both sides of the equation. This model can also be applied between organisations and even countries. Each of these may be viewed as a single organism with its own racket system and life script set. The Parent can be seen as a set of organisational rules or a developed cultural imprint and the Child as the history of remembered or otherwise rewards or punishments of past relationship experience between organisations or countries. Wise leadership may understand the traps of historical reactive prejudice and narcissistic outlook and look, instead, for ways to develop trust based on accurate mutuality. Clearly this is easier said than done, looking for example at difficulties in world politics in the Middle-East and many other conflict zones. The sort of successful leadership needed may ultimately  devolve down partly  to personal actualisation and decontamination of personal scripty material. So, even if institutional or party politics makes change difficult, personal clarity and awareness may form the lynchpin for successful problem solving. Personal psychological treatment through psychology, psychotherapy or counselling may be  useful options in this regard.


If you require the services of a Perth Counsellor or Perth Psychologist, please contact me at makomdavid@gmail.com