The fight between expectance and existence! A war that is there in almost everyone’s mind and thought. I am talking about a perfect mismatch that keeps us bothering as “why am I not there where I wanted to be”.
Most of grownups have forgotten or probably never knew who we actually are and what we have become. We have become confused, negative, depressed and hypocrite by following the pattern of our sorroundings since childhood in terms of thoughts and actions both. The moment we think or decide to do something our mind says “what if it goes wrong?”, ”what if I fail?”, “is it the right time?”, “do I have capability to do it?”, and God knows how many more “what if” and such apprehensions in our lives. More than the possibilities and the happy ending thoughts we care and think about “what if…., but…., may be not….and many more questions which have only hidden negative emotions.
Why are we like this? Are we not just busy in following norms which are transferred to us by the society? Even if there’s an awareness to understand this fact, the awareness is very temporary and subconsciously life keeps on driven as if we are unaware.
Yes, I am talking about Social Conditioning! A conditioning which is worst than any existing disease on the planet. Do you know the fundamental cause of all these set notions in life? – It’s called ‘FEAR’.
If you think your life is a mess right now, this is because your fears are much stronger than your faith in your capability and most of the fears are acquired by the society. Society has sold us a series of mistruths. Most of us destroy our lives by being trapped in false and negative social norms and conditioning. Social conditioning steals our dreams.
What is social conditioning?
Whatever belief system, ideology, limited information, set of rules and mindset we adopt from the society to deal with any area of our life is called as social conditioning. Whatever we are today is the result of social conditioning done since childhood.
You might have heard about a slang “think out of the box” what does it mean? It means that “think outside of your conditioned mindset”. If we see it in a deeper context, conditioned mind is like a box and every box has a capacity to keep anything. Our conditioned mind has very limited information and limited horizon of anything which doesn’t allow us to go beyond its limit.
Well, I am not here to blame society or anyone. When we talk about social conditioning , lets understand why is it so and how this whole conditioning has made us so narrow and powerless. Probably this may help us understand the reason behind our lifeless life and can get us preapred to make a shift.
To understand it better let’s go back to our school time. Why have we been asked as a kindergarten student to learn A for Apple and B for Boy or Ball why not A for Apricot or an Arrow, why not B for Bank, believe or beautiful, the list will go on and on. This is the start of our conditioning. After school, children go back home and they are asked to behave in a certain way, when they play and be naughty, parents scold them by saying, “don’t do this else you fall”, don’t play this you are too small for this” or the universal line is “Don’t play too much, complete your homework and study else you will get last rank in your exams or your friends will be ahead of you”. Rather than allowing them to experience through and make their own understanding after making mistakes, we start ruling them to behave in a certain way. Undoubtedly there are some things that parents need to take care so that child is not at risk yet they need to find out better ways to get child an experience of it rather than imposing instructions as series of NOs. Children have pure mind, they don’t pay attention to this all but subconsciously they are absorbing every word they hear and every act they watch. Knowingly and unknowingly since our childhood these thought processes are engraved in us by our surroundings. Television is a part of society too, it is one of the biggest evils. It kills the imagination since beginning. Cartoon shows are well scripted to block the mind.
It’s been told that every child is born with special ability and skill, how shall we pull out that ability and talent if we treat every child in the same way following the same education pattern. How will they innovate and create if they keep on repeating conditoned way of doing things? Isn’t it ironic that we expect them to do great things, become extraordinary by asking them to follow repeatedly the ordinary stuff.
The way we think about money today, we inherited most of these from our parents and the society. Since childhood to adulthood, we often hear these lines, “focus on study else you won’t be able to make a single penny in your life. “Only lucky people make fortune”, “earning money is not easy”, “people with rich heritage can only have abundance”, “be happy and satisfied what you have, “lot of money brings more problems”, “stay away from rich children, you will become like them and we don’t have money tree at home”, so on and so forth. Eventually most of us grow up with very mediocre mindset about money and start following 95% of people and become the part of rut race.
Parents keep on telling their children; do this or don’t do this, what will people think of you. They always want their children to be socially acceptable by following a certain socially acceptable pattern of life. Why so? It’s because parents have also got conditioned the same way and it’s the utmost reality and truth for them.
Why it is important? How can a child eventually become an extraordinary individual by following an ordinary mindset? We keep so much expectation from our children yet we refuse to accept their dreams, desire and passion. Is it justified? Isn’t it a perfect mismatch?
Whatever we are now is the consequence of our social conditioning. Many of us are in comfortable jobs. Parent’s utmost desire is to see their children successful. Sequence of success for them is to send their children to good school then to good college, get good grades and push them to find stable job. Why do we forget that doing job may not be everyone’s desire. Some may want to learn arts or may have naturally good insight to be a good actor, speaker, author, player, scientist or other numerous talents.
From an individual view point, social conditioning works like a robot, everything is already programmed in their conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind from school to college to job to finding life partner to pattern of spending and saving money or way of treating spouse, everything is programmed. Do you see any newness in this cycle of human growth from generation to generation?
If we look at the statistics, only 5% of the world population are extremely successful. Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, are few among them and they didn’t follow the social norms. I am sure dropping out from college is not a good idea for society and their conditioning, yet they made themselves super successful. The kind of technology they have developed and are developing, the kind of global growth they are contributing to, we all owe them for this.
It is great to bestow good teachings to our children but when it comes to nurture their true self, rules don’t apply. Yes correct! I am talking about the rules not the law. Law of nature gives freedom to create your own rules. That’s why God has given all of us something called as “free will”. Nurture the child and don’t make your child a robote!
We have got so many layers of social conditioning that we have forgot our true nature. We need to peel off layers, with every peeled layer we will reach to our real nature, an enormous world of possibilities and an enormous latent strength to achieve anything that we wish.
Start practicing and enjoy the journey of powerlessness to powerfulness!
Love & Gratitude