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June 19, 2024

The Illusion of Normal: How Programming, Conditioning, and Beliefs Shape Our Reality

BY Marc Mathys
In a world teeming with diversity, the concept of “normal” often feels elusive. What one person considers standard might be entirely foreign to another. This raises the question: Is there truly such a thing as normal, or is it a construct shaped by our programming, conditioning, and beliefs? 
The Role of Programming 
From the moment we are born, we are programmed by our environment. Our families, schools, and societies teach us what is considered acceptable behavior. This programming helps us navigate the world, but it also confines us to a particular way of thinking. For instance, a child raised in a tech-savvy family might consider it normal to interact with digital devices daily, while another child raised in a more traditional setting might find this unusual. 
Conditioning: 
The Invisible Hand Conditioning further solidifies our idea of normalcy. Through rewards and punishments, we learn to conform to societal expectations. This is not inherently negative; conditioning can encourage behaviors that promote social harmony. However, it also means that what is deemed normal is often a reflection of societal norms rather than an objective standard. For example, in some cultures, it is normal to greet people with a kiss on the cheek, while in others, a handshake is the norm. 
Beliefs: 
The Personal Filter Our beliefs act as a filter through which we interpret the world. Shaped by personal experiences and cultural backgrounds, beliefs heavily influence what we consider normal. A person who believes in holistic medicine might find it normal to use herbal remedies, while someone with a scientific outlook might rely on pharmaceuticals. These beliefs are so deeply ingrained that they often go unquestioned, further reinforcing our sense of what is normal. 
Is Anything Truly Normal? 
Given that our sense of normalcy is so heavily influenced by programming, conditioning, and beliefs, it becomes clear that “normal” is a relative term. What is normal for one person may be entirely abnormal for another. This relativism suggests that normalcy is more of a social agreement than an objective truth. 
Embracing Diversity 
Recognizing that normal is a fluid concept can be liberating. It allows us to embrace diversity and be more accepting of different ways of living and thinking. Instead of striving to fit into a predefined mold, we can appreciate the richness that comes from varied experiences and perspectives. 
In the grand tapestry of human existence, normalcy is but a single thread, woven from our collective programming, conditioning, and beliefs. Rather than seeking a universal standard, we would do well to celebrate the myriad ways in which people experience and interpret the world. After all, it’s our differences that make life interesting and worthwhile. So, next time you find yourself questioning what is normal, remember that normalcy is subjective. 
Embrace the diversity around you and enjoy the kaleidoscope of human experience.
 

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Hello I’m Marc the creator of the Reset-it program and a TedX speaker.

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