TEN EVERYDAY GUIDELINES
By Roland Watson
I'm now going to give some basic advice for fighting the influences of behavioral form. The ideas apply to different types of situations, or they give varied, overall perspectives.
The first is simple. Ignore all superstitions. But, this raises the question, what's a superstition? I'm going to examine spiritual beliefs that require faith in another series of articles, so that's not what I'm driving at here.
However, everything else that demands that you suspend the evidence of your senses, and your reason, is an influence that you should reject. Don't believe in ghosts, or for that matter fast and quick ideas that will bring you good luck, or a lot of money. With these beliefs you are just setting yourself up to be scared, or deceived.
Secondly, be cautious with anyone who says that they are going to help you. Their likely intent is to find some way to help themselves. Related to this, you should not be concerned with how something looks. Even more, anything that you have to get used to, is a form.
Thirdly, you should focus a lot of thought and effort on not developing the traits that your parents have which you dislike, especially their addictions. For example, if your father drinks a lot and has a bad temper, you should use your willpower to make sure that you don't end up like this as well.
Fourthly, and this is a subject that I will revisit again and again, you should confront, and through exercising self-discipline defeat, your own addictions. In addition to causing fear, guilt and stress, behavioral form is responsible for many of the addictions that people develop. This is why there are so many twelve-step self-help programs available.
For instance, many social occasions revolve around, and virtually require, the intake of alcoholic beverages. But some people do not have the strength of will to resist the temptations of this drug, and these occasions, and become alcoholics.
Issue of self-identification
Fifthly, you need to make sure that you do not define yourself through your undisciplined and unethical actions. Many people actually do wrong, knowingly, as a perverse means of self-definition.
I'm sure you know what I mean by this. One example is people who act like they can drink more than anyone else, and then end up falling down drunk. Don't let yourself fall into this trap.
Next, if a social influence starts to lead you along, you have to cut it off, right then! Don't let it get a grip on you, any grip at all. The longer it has a hold on you, the harder it will be to break free of it.
Don't "accept your place"
The seventh guideline relates to one of the basic messages of form, which is also the social defense of class structure and inequality. This is the idea that you should know and accept your place in life. If you are in a lower class, a wide range of social messages, and these are conveyed in almost all countries, tell you that you are inferior, and that there is nothing you can do about it. Don't complain, and don't get out of line. After all, it is your fate or destiny to be like this. Needless to say, you should reject all of these types of influences.
Next, avoid having a sedentary life, or escape if you are already trapped in one. Institutions depend on - they require us to have - such lives. By following the routine of working, watching TV, sleeping, working, watching TV, sleeping - again and again - we best serve their needs. Indeed, "watching the game," or "match," is how the weekend is controlled.
If you are getting fat, or aging prematurely, don't go on a diet, or try a new drug. Instead, change your life! Find one, create one, that requires physical activity and exercise, that gets you out of the routine.
It is also important to recognize that many if not most medical problems are lifestyle related. If your doctor says that you need to take a prescription pharmaceutical, this is actually a sign that you have a problem with how you are living your life. A much better approach is to change how you live, and what you consume, so the problem goes away by itself.
Many pharmaceuticals are addictive in the sense that once you start taking them, you have to do so for the rest of your life. The drug companies love this.
You can solve almost any health problem on your own, without the drugs. This will also give you a purpose for how to live your life - to be healthy and happy, and, you will get a lot of satisfaction from it once you start to see the problem go away.
Avoid the comfort zone
The ninth guideline, which is related to this, is to avoid the comfort zone. You have to challenge life, continually, to get the most out of it. I might add, comfort zones are rarely comfortable. Indeed, they are regularly very uncomfortable, just not quite uncomfortable enough to get you to do something about it. And, as time goes by you adapt to the discomfort and accept it as normal. And perhaps then it gets even worse, but still you tolerate it, now that you have adapted.
If this has happened to you - a common location is at your job - you must escape. You must break the cycle and get out.
The final and tenth everyday guideline for fighting form is to consider, and if necessary redefine, your sense of happiness. In the modern world we are told what we should do to be happy. But, in many cases, we're not. We do what we are told, and then wonder why we aren't happy, or even satisfied.
What you should do is think carefully about what, specifically, makes you happy, and then go after it. You should never settle for the sources of happiness that you are told should make you happy, in other words, those that are meant for you, which are intended to be enough for you.
In the next article, I will cover how behavioral form instigates power conflicts, and what we can do to avoid them.