Monday, March 25, 2013

Searching dreams: From peer pressure to social pressure.

Remember those times when you did something really stupid because your friends challenged you to or because they were doing the exact same stupid things?  Well, now that's what we call... peer pressure.

In today's post, we will examine exactly how bad and not bad is peer pressure and in today's world of growing self-awareness and autonomy in making decisions (especially when you have aged), do people still succumb to peer pressure?

I mean... if you really think about it, isn't the underlying current that's driving this 'I can do the same if not better' mentality, what we call; competition?  I want you to pause for a moment and think about everything that's been happening in your life.  Maybe for the past couple of hours, days, months, even years.  What did you do that was purely self-motivated with no external pressure from anywhere else?  A higher paying job, the wedding of the year, a sexier car, a bigger house, a more exciting trip, anything.

Now picture someone who's vowed to focus his entire being on just one thing, which is to perform a speech in the much watched social TV called TED.  Versus his peers who are probably slugging away behind daily routines, trying to climb the next rung of the conventional corporate ladder.  All sounds fine and dandy to you and perhaps to a certain extent you would even feel a slight disdain towards the fellow's peers because they weren't like him.  They weren't doing something that was remotely ground shaking and as important that could benefit the whole world by sharing it on TED.  Or perhaps your perspective has been stained solely by the less attractive aphorism of which I've used to describe them.  But whatever it is, bear in mind... it is the person's immediate society that has planted in him the idea that TED, was the place to speak if you have anything that's worthy to be heard.  Because everyone important (or not) is tuned in to TED.  What's the difference between this person and his friends, you say?  Frame of competition.  Nevertheless, still competition.  We're still referring to external pressures - whether from peers or society, whether in the form of highly lauded brands or life events, we might be really setting goals that are not really our own.  But what society thinks we should do or is good to do.

So whether it is speaking in TED or toasting in your dream wedding or bragging about your new ride, we are at the end of the day, still at the mercy of the approval others.  Since there's no choice, we might as well make it count :) Do something that makes you happy.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree.

    "When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down "happy". They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." -John Lennon

    Pressure, social or peer are just things we use to qualify the reasons why we follow trends. I dare say that in some way, shape or form, we're all trying to fit into a category. Belong to a thing. Which isn't a bad. Sheryl Crow once wrote, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad."

    With that I'll say "It doesn't matter" -Rock (Dwayne Johnson), what you like or what you wear or what you bought yesterday. Being happy is a state of mind. Do the things that make you smile for a while. "If you smell-a-la-la-la-liao... what the Rock... is cooking" [cocks eyebrow + smirk].