There are many forces that prevent us from reaching our goals and living the lives we dream of.
I always pointed to fear as the grand puba of them all. Because everything seemed to be tied to fear: procrastination, paralysis, struggle – all roads lead back to it.
But I didn’t account for another grandmaster: conditioning.
I’m not going to bother with the dictionary definition.
I’m going to focus on how it plays out.
Conditioning is how what we’re taught or see or experience becomes the end all be all. It becomes the dominating way that we continue to understand, see or experience the world, even if it doesn’t make sense or no longer suits us.
Conditioning is not being able to see past tradition or “normalcy.”
Conditioning is believing that you HAVE (this is a keyword) to go to college, get a good job, stay in that job even though you hate it, have kids, get into debt, retire, be only partially happy.
Conditioning is accepting the myth of the struggling artist.
Conditioning is accepting that the impossible is in fact, impossible.
Solution? The antidote for conditioning may just be design.
Designing your life and living it.
Designing your career and pursuing it.
All despite what conventional thought says.
During a conference I recently attended, a speaker encouraged the audience to rethink everything.
Think about that: rethink everything. My mind had trouble wrapping around that possibility. Anything that was going on in my life, I could rethink?
My career, my business, my love life. More. Everything.
It’s the ultimate pivot in a startup.
The thought is empowering (and overwhelming, this type of possibility for change usually is).
So I don’t force myself to erase all conditioning immediately, and I realize that not all conditioning is misaligned with my values and my purpose.
But I bask in the opportunity to be a designer, who understands that when the pieces don’t fit, I change them around or get rid of them all together.