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Underlying Actions That Are Hindering You From Achieving The Life You Desire - Article

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Overview


The article discusses the impact of cultural norms on an individual's beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. It suggests that dominant cultural norms can create barriers to success and impede progress by affecting various aspects of life such as meaningful work, material wealth, competition, values, and beliefs. The article highlights the importance of valuing the journey and not just the result in achieving one's goals and encourages embracing personal growth, self-awareness, and personal responsibility. The concept of "shadow selves," traits that may have been suppressed due to societal norms, is also discussed, and the idea of accepting and integrating these traits into one's own consciousness is emphasized. The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of questioning and critically evaluating cultural norms to determine if they align with one's own values and desires.


Article


It could be argued that each generation has its own distinct cultural norm that people take for granted and consider to be universal truth. This monoculture has been evidenced by Germany in the 1930s and America in 1776, and it can be seen that some beliefs and ideologies were accepted as “right” and “correct”, even though these views may have been inaccurate. This begs the question: how can a culture become so dominant that it is accepted as the only valid perspective? It is a question that people have been asking for centuries and it is still relevant today.


Perceiving the effects of the prevailing monoculture objectively can be challenging and, once we have all-encompassingly embraced a notion as fact, it can be tricky to recognize it as a culturally or subjectively-driven concept. It is possible that much of our inner turmoil stems from existing in a way that is not in keeping with our true aspirations, due to having unwittingly adopted societal standards as being the "regular" and "perfect" way of life, without being truly aware of it.


It has been suggested that dominant cultural norms are often rooted in the purpose of life; from nation, to religion, to self, societal standards can often act as an impediment to progress. Eight common examples of this can be seen in the following: (1) a lack of meaningful work, causing people to feel disconnected from their environment; (2) a gap between what one desires and what one can afford; (3) a decline in a sense of community and an increasing sense of isolation; (4) an overemphasis on material wealth, leading to a sense of unease and unfulfillment; (5) an obsession with competition and achievement, resulting in feelings of inadequacy; (6) a disconnection between values and beliefs, leading to difficulty in making decisions; (7) a tendency to put individual interests or desires over collective needs; and (8) a tendency to put short-term gains over long-term goals. These eight examples demonstrate how a dominant culture can create barriers to success and impede progress.


The idea of creating one's desired life is an attractive concept, but can be difficult to carry out in practice. Our brains are often wired to think about our past experiences and solutions, so that we may not be able to accurately predict what will bring us happiness in the future. We can be quick to judge the success of our goals based on the outcome, but this can be problematic if the outcome is unfamiliar and different to what we expected; although it may be a better situation, it is likely to be judged against what has come before and be deemed unsuccessful. Consequently, in order to live the life that we desire, we must be able to take joy in the present moment, free of expectations set by our past experiences. This enables us to understand and make sense of our current situation, as well as allowing us to appreciate the full potential of what life has to offer.


Rather than seeing success as a distant destination to be reached, it is important to appreciate the journey and not just the result. This means valuing the process of improving and growing rather than focusing only on the end result. It involves the recognition that success does not necessarily equate to a certain level of achievement, but rather the enjoyment and satisfaction of the journey that it takes to get there. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that not all goals can be achieved and it is important to show resilience and to make peace with failure. Understanding the importance of celebrating each step and the richness of the journey is key to appreciating any destination that is eventually reached.


It may be a common assumption that following one's gut instincts leads to happiness and that fear and pain are indicators of something negative. However, it is important to note that when pursuing something that one is passionate about, it may involve vulnerability and elicit fear and pain. These negative emotions should not always be taken as a sign to avoid the pursuit. It could actually indicate that the pursuit is challenging and meaningful. On the other hand, feeling indifferent about an opportunity could suggest a lack of investment or interest.


Some individuals may find that they tend to create unnecessary difficulties and challenges in their lives, which may stem from a fear of embracing their authentic selves and taking ownership of their desires and aspirations. This behaviour of intentionally causing disruptions could be viewed as a coping mechanism, as it may distract from the fear of vulnerability or accountability. However, it's important to note that the root causes of one's actions and emotions are often complex and multi-faceted, and it's possible that the underlying reasons for such behaviour may be different for each individual.


It may be commonly thought that changing beliefs requires adopting a new line of thinking, but some individuals argue that experiencing things that make certain thinking self-evident is a way to change beliefs. It's believed that a belief is formed when experiences make it evident to be true. Changing one's life could involve changing beliefs, and to change beliefs, having experiences that make them real could be helpful, rather than starting with changing the line of thinking first.


It is commonly perceived that encountering challenges or difficulties can hinder progress towards one's goals, but some individuals may view these obstacles as opportunities for growth. As Marcus Aurelius stated, "What stands in the way becomes the way." This perspective suggests that overcoming challenges can lead to taking action and making changes that can ultimately drive individuals towards their desired outcomes. It may be argued that facing obstacles can force individuals to step outside of their comfort zones and potentially result in personal growth and development.


It's often believed that one's past experiences and circumstances shape who they are and that this can't be changed. However, the reality is that an individual's perception of their past can change as they themselves change and grow. The memories, emotions, and "gists" that a person chooses to recall from their past can reflect their current mindset and understanding. While it's important to acknowledge and understand past experiences, including painful or traumatic events, it's also possible to view these experiences as part of their personal journey and evolution, rather than allowing them to define or haunt them.


You may have the tendency to attempt to alter the behavior of others, circumstances, or things, or you may express dissatisfaction with them. However, it is important to consider that anger often signifies self-awareness. Many negative emotional responses are a reflection of recognizing an aspect of yourself that is not fully integrated.


It has been suggested that certain aspects of one's personality that may have been deemed unacceptable at some point in time may have been suppressed and not fully acknowledged. These traits, referred to as "shadow selves," may elicit strong emotions, such as anger, when observed in others. However, these feelings may stem not from dislike, but from the internal struggle to accept and integrate these traits into one's own consciousness. It is believed that the things one admires in others can also reflect qualities they possess themselves, while the things that evoke dislike in others may be aspects that they have difficulty accepting within themselves.


In conclusion, cultural norms, beliefs, and ideologies play a significant role in shaping our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours. It's important to question and critically evaluate these norms to determine if they align with one's own values and desires. Embracing personal growth, self-awareness, and personal responsibility, rather than relying solely on external validation and societal norms, can help individuals lead a more fulfilling and authentic life.

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