We are all unique, and it is the choices we make throughout our lives that make us such. Throughout our youth we are being advertised to – not only by those Coca Cola adverts, but by our circumstances, and our environment.
To be clear these are our environmental influences which are everything around us that we have little to no control over. Who your parents are, what they believe, where you are born and usually ‘brought up’, who the people are that walk into your life, and more.
I call all these factors advertisers. The reason being that, disregarding intent, what is around you is advertising to you a way of thought, a way of living, and a way of happiness. Not too different from marketing advertisements in the modern world. In this world they wish to sell you an idea of a lifestyle, not the product. The product they sell is the path to the lifestyle they preach, or so they will have your subconscious think.
With a modern advertisement your subconscious thought will pick up an idea, and begin using some of your energy to work away a few cogs in your brain into what this idea means to you. But then you see the same, or similar, advertisement again and the idea is now beginning to take traction with more brain power and energy devoting to this task. Advertisers know very well that for an idea to really stick it has to have been seen seven times to really take a hold. They spend millions, often majorities of budgets, to ensure that this happens.
Once you have an idea, a vision of a lifestyle, ingrained into the thought patterns then the advertisement has been a success. Maybe I will buy that Coca Cola to make me feel refreshed, and Taste the Feeling.
Particularly within our youth it is not only modern advertisements that affect us within this way. The entire duration of our youth is about learning, and the human mind is designed exactly to do this for survival. Everything we see, touch, smell, hear around us affects what our belief is on our lives – it affects everything; our belief on society, democracy, afterlife, morality.
We are hugely susceptible at these ages, allowing all advertisements to enter our thought patterns easily and confuse us as we attempt to fit all the pieces together in a world full of varying and contradictory beliefs. Is it any wonder that during our teenage years we often become grumpy adolescents as our mind develops cynicism we begin to see the world for what it is and spend most of our energy working out where we fit within that space.
We latch on to groups of people we can identify with in any one way we can just to find balance in the chaos. It is true that we do that in a way throughout the rest of our lives, but at no point are we so identifiable as we are within our teens. We are the jock, or the goth, or the skater, or one of the pink ladies. We group to form identify and balance in order to survive.
For some, you will be challenged to question your beliefs throughout unexpected life events or through the application of ideas in groups such as in higher education. For others, challenges wont come so easily; allowing individuals to tread water through their lives being content with what they know, with a strong enough barrier set in over time to rebound anything else they don’t agree with.
Those that are challenged are enabled into forming a mindset based on growth and curiosity, those that are not become fixed and static. The former are the adventurers, the latter are historians.
There is nothing inherently wrong with either, the difference is this: some choose to achieve knowledge and wisdom from the world around us in learning what is new, and some choose to achieve this through the proof of the past. However I would argue that when it comes to learning as much as possible about yourself, and what the world means to you and how you fit within it; the adventurer makes the most strides.
We are susceptible to outside influences and should try to not allow them assault our senses but instead form an orderly queue, and we will consider them in due course, once we are done learning something new. Learning who we are without influence. Challenging our beliefs. Becoming an adventurer.