The term second nature connotes a layer over one's "first nature."
While first nature may be immutable (a debate for another time), second nature describes behaviors, habits, and automatic responses that we can practice and learn with nothing more than intention and time.
When you google "second nature" - you find "a characteristic or habit in someone that appears to be instinctive because that person has behaved in a particular way so often."
Merriam-Webster describes it as "something you can do easily or without much thought because you have done it many times before."
And Urban Dictionary characterizes second nature as "a process or action that has been practiced over time so that it becomes natural or habitual."
We all have second nature behaviors that we have practiced enough that now they are fairly automatic, and we don't have to think about them. From daily tasks, like typing or shifting gears in a manual vehicle, to ways of being - "while compassion was second nature to her, cruelty was becoming second nature to her sister."
Imagine people are talking about you - now fill in the blank:
"___________ is second nature to [your name]."
Here's the thing - you can fill in the blank with whatever you want.
Not overnight. Not in a month. But probably in less than a year.
And the most elegant part of updating your second nature is that it only feels like practice at the beginning, and over time it inherently becomes an invisible layer that exists automatically and requires almost no mental or physical exertion.
Your second nature is up to you. Start practicing today.
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I write about deliberate living, learning, and doing good work.