I am still on the way to break free of social conditionings. The best way to break free is to travel in different countries with different conditionings, and get ready to be amazed at how insensible we once were when we were living in the same and only city and follow its own conditionings, a lot of them are insensible, but we thought they were the only ways because everyone around us are doing the same.
Another main point from this readings is the pursuit of happiness by pursuing materialistic desires. I read from several buddhist/spiritual books and they raise exactly the same example as the man in the article. You can read The Power of Now—A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, Happiness/Joy by OSHO about it. They got amazing explanations.
Basically they argue that Joy is permanent, which arises from within, while Happiness is temporary, which arises from chasing after materialistic desires and desires from outside world, not from within our soul. I still remember in the very first economics class I had when I was 14 years old, on the very first page of our economics book, it says ‘Human desire is unlimited. It can never be satisfied’, hence chasing after happiness from the outside world is a task you never see its tail.
In my opinion the mentally healthiest people should make the best balance between Joy and Happiness. I think most of us cannot be freed from Ego, so most of us won’t stop pursuiting Happiness from the material world, and hence we should make the best cocktail of Joy and Happiness instead of completely eliminating pursuiting materialistic desires and gain a sense of superiority by Comparison with others.
Below is the article I replied to.
:: Chalking Out Your Goals ::
January 1, 2014 at 5:36pm
Modern psychology teaches everyone to chalk out clear cut goals and achieving them in the shortest duration. Psychologists, motivational experts and behavioral scientists are forever busy researching on easy and quick paths to Self-realization. Fast, clear and smooth is the new mantra. But does it work in the longer run? Not really. People go through this achievement exercise, find it exciting for some time and then one fine day become disillusioned.
A client shared that as a child he was told that everything will be fine if he got good marks. As he finished his post-graduation, he believed the socially accepted fantasy that everything will be fine if he got a well-paid job. Then he had similar hopes — from salary hikes, success, marriage, fatherhood, lavish partying, to practicing relaxation techniques, buying a fancy car and owning a luxury apartment. He reported that at each stage of achieving something he felt on top of the world, but only for a short while.
Soon, he felt empty and then he chalked another goal thinking that maybe this time he will stay happy for a longer duration. But nothing worked. Now for the last two years, he was struggling with the question ‘who am I?’ People thought that he was depressed and he should distract himself from this futile philosophical question. Ironically, he was advised by many to chalk out yet another goal to get over this psychological crisis or take pills to feel happy.
While ‘who am i?’ appears to be a futile question, it is the door to the greatest good. All of us are born with a true Self that has unique potential; we can realise it if we hear our inner voice. However, we are taught right from day one what is socially valued and what is not. If we follow what is socially accepted, we get love and recognition; otherwise, criticism and rejection awaits us. As a result, we start doing what the world expects from us — money, fame, lavish lifestyle, designer body, umpteen possessions, pleasure and clear cut goals. Thus, the question ‘who am i?’ is deliberately suppressed.
This question, if pursued, may get you what you have been searching for all along. Therefore, once you reach a point where you have surety that you can execute your worldly duties, it is time to turn inward. Stop asking people what you should be doing. Do not trust psychological tests that claim to tell you what is good for you. There are no standard answers. Each person has to find his own answer. The real psychology lies in discovering and realizing who you are.
Who am i? Think about this question; let it trouble you. Let it shake you up. Let it make you uncertain about your identity. If others try to pull you back into mainstream dramas, refuse politely and persist. Often, others distract you because they find this question scary and want to forget it. In my experience as a psychologist, I often find that the unknown zone looks scary in the beginning but if you stay on and explore, you will be in for a surprise.
Once you break away from social conditionings in your mind, you will get a taste of real freedom. You will gradually become what you are and not what people want you to be. You will experience happiness and contentment. The writer is a clinical psychologist in Delhi.
(I read this article in speaking tree coloumn ‘Times of India’ dates 1-1-2014
:: Kindly leave a comment bellow, i wish to know your thoughts on it. :: 🙂
#goals #newyeargoals #lifegoals #2014