Your focus – your way forward
As individuals, who are involved in society and the world around us, it easy to begin to lose sight of ourselves and what we like to do in life.
We can become sidetracked by what we see around us, including by ourselves. What is considered as social norms can end up dictating to what we think is acceptable.
We can end up becoming a product of social conditioning. Social conditioning is all around us and begins from birth, which in itself is completely natural. We are at first dependent on our parents or guardians for our care. It is from their values, we begin to shape our own values even from a tender young age.
We are then fed into the social system that our guardians deem to be normal to them and the wider family and social system that surround them – school, education, jobs, and careers – the social system that we find ourselves in begins to shape our future.
The distraction of the advertising all around us
It is said the average westerner will see an average of 5000 adverts in one day. Obviously, that is not going to be the same for everyone and of course hows does one measure that? However, if you live in town or a city and use the internet and mobile devices you will be being exposed to subliminal adverts all the time.
In your own home right now you are looking at brands and messages that you have not subconsciously noted. For example, the very device you are viewing this blog on right now has a brand on it. These are obvious adverts but yet we are detached from them.
Perhaps after reading this blog, take a moment to look around and see how messages, logos, and adverts exist in your very own home or space you are in. You may be surprised, from pens on your desk, products in your kitchen cupboard and fridge, your cosmetics in your bathroom – a number of adverts and message are around us constantly.
We see countless adverts daily and even before we leave the place we live in. Our social network or the society we live in will also be shaping us. Our beliefs and values, the way we view right and wrong, good or evil. The judgments we make can be shaped by the influences we are exposed to daily. For example from the news, tabloids headlines and social media. No wonder your focus is easily distracted – if we allow it to be.
The dreams of a child
Let me use an example – a young child who is a particularity talented artist. They are passionate about this art form and want to pursue art with all their heart and might. Yet they meet resistance….
That resistance may come from a guardian or their parents, who attempts to shape the child to reconsider his options. The guardian may be driven by his own concerns for his own future and is now transferring that concern of his own on to the child. Words such as…..You’re not going to be able sustain yourself as an artist. How would you support your family as an artist?
By cause-and-effect, the adult is transferring a guilt driven motive that you must grow up to be a certain type of provider. Or you must pursue a certain path to success. The guardian may find themselves – unconsciously – transferring what was literally transferred onto them. It will take a particular brave or strong minded child to resist this. If they don’t resist, then they could end up losing their passion for what they love and begin to pursue someone else’s ideal for them.
Following somebody else’s ideal
So let’s fast forward through their adulthood. As they go through school their passion for their art diminishes. They become disillusioned with the educational system. There is greater pressures placed upon them in order to achieve. They attend University that eventually leads to them graduating. They pursue a career but deep down inside, there is something missing – their life is not really ticking the box. It is as if they are living someone else’s life.
Eventually, perhaps, after a number of years they achieve the social norms of success yet this successful career isn’t really making them happy and they begin to ask themselves the bold question, what is it that I want to do?
At this stage they have an opportunity to rediscover who they really are. Yet years of social conditioning and packaging surrounds them.
Yes, they built a career into a success.
Yet internally there is a child who had lost his childhood passion for art.
This is far more common than we realise. As a professional coach, I often find myself coaching people who at the end of their career and they are now asking themselves this question – what now? It is remarkable how many people want to pursue a passion they gave up due to pressure to pursue a certain career or life choice.
Moving into your desires
As a coach, it is often been my experience of witnessing the coachees not only pursuing their childhood passion, but pursuing it as a semi or as a professional alternative career.
In every account, the personal sense of self-achievement, fulfilment,
happiness, and a greater sense of self-discovery that the coachee discovers has been evident. It takes a certain type of character to resist the pressures to conform and resist the social conditioning and pursue the pursuits that we are passionate about.
We need leaders, role models, teachers, trainers, coaches, guardians and parents who are prepared to fan the enthusiasm of creative passion.
By doing so creating an environment that you can grow in and feel safe in. An environment where we allow ourselves to make mistakes. A non-judgemental environment that resists social conditioning and puts the learner first.
Encouraging play and self-discovery and real character development, creating a foundation of true learning.
Self reflective learning
Self-reflective learning needs to be the foundation of our learning development. When we find ourselves in a place in life where we want to review the direction we want to go how we want to learn then self-reflective learning is an excellent place to begin.
What is that you want to do
This is where you take responsibility for your own learning needs – asking yourself – what is it that you want to do? Read more in my previous blog Who Are You?
What do you need to do in order to achieve it?
Do you see yourself as a person who does what they do in order to please others? Or are you a person who has decided to step into the fullness of their dreams, passions, and objectives?
What is that you really want to do?
Leave me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.
Professional coach, trainer and international entertainer