Too often do we look at the current state of affairs in our lives from the viewpoint of other people. Following the status quo/groupthink and failing to discover our own passions and reasons for existence is the quickest way to instigate the world into beating you down.

In this way, people naturally become unproductive and unhappy sheep to the thoughts of the majority.

You are not a sheep.

I assume that if you are reading this and have a good idea of what my mission is, than you are on the track towards self-actualization. The good news is if you got this far, you must be pretty awesome because the general public spend their lives without realizing these tools and ideas exist! Let’s spend some time to describe exactly what you need to make the change.

What is a “Why”?

A “Why” is your purpose for taking action. Any action. There is an unspoken, and often unknown, system of beliefs and reactionary measures that determines the course of action a person takes.

This is how people become predictable in their behaviors. And in this way it becomes easy to be reactionary to the world around you.

I don’t want that!

Yeah? Me neither. How, then, can we avoid the limiting beliefs society has for us? How do we avoid becoming reactionary? The answer is simple in explanation, difficult in affect.

How to Overcome Being Social Puppets

The first step in most of my practices is awareness.

Awareness allows you to ask the right questions of yourself and therefore determine the right course of action.

We develop the power of choice when using awareness, and we don’t need any external forces to do so with us. Remember, you are all you need.

Something becomes increasingly more clear to me in my experiences with social conditioning as a form of the brains’ “default” mode. Society loves to smooth out any rough external provocation that may go against the grain of its’ collective worldview. It sets things up to accommodate as many people as possible with no customization settings. Think of the “factory default” override settings on your phone.

In doing so, society suppresses the best asset it has, the creativity of the individual mind, and the get-it-done power of the collective mind.

By demanding a specific way of thinking and snuffing out all others, social pressures teach people not to stand out.

Individual Decisions and Social Pressures

Altercations between social pressures and individual decisions can be found in anyones lives. Quickly, I’d like to make the distinction regarding the respectful entertainment of opposing views as this creates beneficial altercations, Aristotle says so, and is necessary for understanding why altercations occur.

Both parties must be willing to remain open-minded and also refrain from being personally offended.

Both of these characteristics tend to lend to heated discussions as opposed to beneficial ones. Couple the social pressures that arise from groupthink with a commonly held subconscious fear of ostracization and nobody will be different. Nobody will be special. Nobody will be forward-thinking enough to innovate and create the life that nobody knows they want yet eventually become thankful for.

Steve Jobs was called crazy, insane, a nut, and yet we are all currently thankful for his innovations to our modern world. Steve Jobs found a purpose.

Find a purpose you believe in so whole-heartedly that society (and your subconscious) can’t persuade you otherwise.

A “Why” In Action.

I will show you how you can utilize these ideas. Remember, you are the star of your show.

To determine the correct answers for your life we must start by asking the right questions. Simple enough, sure, but this is harder than it seems.

Cultivate awareness by stopping the use of “what” and “how” questions. Most people look for happiness in their every day lives! A noble pursuit, granted, But they ask questions like “what will make me happy?” and “How can I be happy?”. Both of these questions confirm subconsciously either:

1) That happiness is a thing that you do not have, or

2) that happiness is not able to be present in your current situation.

Both Accounts are False!

Start asking “Why am I unhappy?” instead. Not only does this question typically direct your attention to things within your immediately controllable environment, but often reveals to you that you may have nothing to be unhappy about at all! Therefore confirming to yourself that you can be happy at all other times!

This will give you a jump on your own self-awareness and stop the cycle of reactionary decisions you make. Eventually in later posts we will take more steps! But for now this will give you the information and practice to begin truly thinking in your own best interests!

Ask “why” questions and you’ll be well on your way to practicing effective self-awareness.

In future posts we will be discussing how to solve problems that seem daunting! And how to move away from the torment regarding issues outside the realm of immediate control!

-Austin Denison